Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - February 09, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Dietes bicolor(Bicolor Iris) winter-hardiness in Austin
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

I have many bi-color irises (dietes bicolor), the freeze in Austin turned them brown. Can I trim them back without harming the plants? If trimming is acceptable, can you give me tips?

ANSWER:

Dietes bicolor(Bicolor Iris) , an African native which is rated to zone 8B (15 to 20F), isn't wintering so well this year in Austin and yours are among many that have frozen to the ground.  This answer was recently given to a similar query. In my central-Austin neighborhood they are sprouting new greenery already, but I would either wait to cut them back, or mulch after doing so to protect the tender new growth until we are past danger of another hard freeze.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Odor and flavor of oils in Mints as insect repellants
December 19, 2005 - I am trying to find information on "How does mint plants repel insects" It's for my grand daughter's science project. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you
view the full question and answer

Difficulty with Clay Soil from Palm Bay, FL
August 22, 2012 - I had a very nice little native shady area behind my house for over 40 years, but now it has been cleared except for a 100 foot tall live oak in the center of this raised mound (50' x 80'). I've be...
view the full question and answer

Caring for a wildflower meadow in Austin, TX.
March 22, 2016 - We have a meadow full of wildflowers in the country, bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, etc. What can we do to promote continued growth and is there a certain time of year we should mow? Should we fe...
view the full question and answer

Eriogonum spergulinum, wild buckwheat
March 21, 2008 - Do you have any information on the wildflower Eriogonum spergulinum???
view the full question and answer

Is purple coneflower native to Colorado?
July 20, 2009 - I have seen the purple cone flower growing wild in Gunnison National Forest in Colorado. Is it a native to that state or has it been brought in?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.