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 Non-Natives Questions

Coffee grounds as mulch into vegetable beds
February 05, 2009 - Can you put too much coffee grounds as mulch into vegetable beds?
view the full question and answer

Plants for planting in gourds
March 15, 2009 - I enjoy painting dried gourds. This spring I got the idea to paint a gourd and cut holes in the side and plant some small blooming flowers. I have seen "hen and chickens" growing out of holes in the...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native privet in Austin
November 15, 2010 - My 2 privet shrubs/bushes facing the east in a shady area seem to be have less leaves and dead flowers, while across a walk way that 1 privet shrub/bush has lots of green leaves with lots of dying flo...
view the full question and answer

Lantana failing to bloom from Tampa FL
October 04, 2012 - I reside in central Florida. I have planted several lantana the orange,red,yellow type. I don't have proper species name. They have been in the ground 3 weeks with 2" of potting soil around root ba...
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native house plant
October 20, 2007 - I have bought a 7 foot bird of paradise indoor plant, and have a decorative pot to place it into. The plant will remain in its plastic pot, will have a liner inside decorative pot, and decorative moss...
view the full question and answer

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