En Español

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

Sunday - January 31, 2010

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Brown leaves on Bottlebrush shrubs after freeze in Georgetown, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have Bottlebrush shrubs that have all brown leaves after the freezes that we have experienced here in central Texas. Will they be ok?

ANSWER:

The Curse of the Common Name has probably struck again here. There is a North American native shrub, Aesculus parviflora (bottlebrush buckeye), that comes as close to what you are asking as we can find in the Native Plant Database. It is not native to Texas, but to areas in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. This University of Connecticut website has some pictures you can look at to see if that is the plant you have. If so, your plant is safe after the freeze, because it is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 4, and we got no temperatures as cold as that. 

However, we suspect that is not what you have, but rather Callistemon spp., Bottlebrush, native to Australia and therefore out of the expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It is hardy from Zones 9 to 11; Georgetown is Zone 8a, so it's possible the plant has been damaged. All we can do is give you the same advice we are giving all the other people with similar problems: It's a waiting game. Don't fertilize, make sure it's getting sufficient moisture, and see if new growth shows up in the Spring. It could even die back to the ground and then come up from the roots. 

Pictures of  Callistemon from Google


Aesculus parviflora

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Removal of non-native invasive Ligustrum japonica from Austin
February 14, 2012 - I bought a house that I am slowly turning into a native garden, but as a teacher, I have a really small budget. One entire border of my backyard (30 feet) was planted with evil Ligustrum japonica. I l...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control for Salem IN
September 02, 2014 - We've recently had a new pond dug. It is on a hill side and has some very steep and tall banks. We were advised that our best chance of keeping soil from eroding was to plant fescue. I'm not thrille...
view the full question and answer

Native tree or shrub with fruit to espalier on fence
July 23, 2010 - I live in the Austin, TX area and I would like to choose a native tree or shrub to espalier on a fence in my garden. Ideally, I would like to use a tree that bears fruit. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Cold Hardy Hibiscus for Central Texas
April 18, 2015 - What variety of Hibiscus is cold hardy for Central Texas?
view the full question and answer

Identification of fragrant, white-flowered bush in Arizona
April 14, 2013 - I'd like to identify a flowering bush which has white sweet-smelling flowers. It is growing in the Coconino National Forest in the area near the Airport vortex/Airport mesa in Sedona, Arizona. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center