En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
4 ratings

Sunday - January 31, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Dietes bicolor leaves brown after freeze in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Austin, and my butterfly iris (Dietes bicolor) that I've had for the last 6 years are all turning brown after the most recent freeze. Should I cut them back, with the thought being they would sprout new growth? Or are they dead, and should be dug up and replaced?

ANSWER:

Dietes bicolor, Butterfly or African iris, is a native of South Africa, and therefore out of the purview of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where we are dedicated to the use, care and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown.  Both it and members of the genus Iris are related distantly by being part of the family Iridaceae. We can tell you that the Dietes is hardy from Zones 8b through 11; they are evergreen through the winter unless the temperature goes below 25 deg. F., at which time the leaves will turn brown. Since this plant regenerates from a rhizome, it will no doubt come back in warmer weather. We would suggest simply trimming down those browned leaves and not fertilizing.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native invasive tungoil tree
July 21, 2006 - I believe I have a tungoil tree growing in my yard. How do I care for it and when would be the best time to move it. It is about 6 foot tall and has about 12 seed (fruit) on it. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

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

Survival of non-native windmill palm in Zone 6b
March 28, 2009 - Will a windmill palm survive a Zone 6b Michigan climate; if so would I have to wrap it up in burlap in wintertime?
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native 'Glacier Blues' from Charlton MA
March 24, 2012 - Do you have to prune or cut down Glacier Blues in the garden? My plants look brown and wilted.
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing non-invasive shrub for privacy fence in Sugar Land TX
December 06, 2011 - I live in South Texas in Sugar Land. I was going to plant oleanders in my backyard along the fence as a privacy hedge, about 20 feet from my house. However, I was told they were a bad choice becaus...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center