En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Non-native bulbine damaged by freeze

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - March 15, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native bulbine damaged by freeze
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Our Texas bulbine were hit hard this year. The tops are dead, not sure if any roots are still alive. Should we trim them back to the dirt; if roots are still alive, will they emerge again via root system?

ANSWER:

You have been led along by a nursery trade name for a plant that infers a plant is native to Texas when, in fact, it is not. "Texas bulbine" is actually Bulbine frutescens, Orange African Bulbine, native to (where else?) South Africa. Since at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are only conversant in plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown, this plant is out of our expertise. We can tell you that it is hardy from USDA Zones 9 to 11, while Austin in is Zone 8a. This is probably not enough of a spread to make that much difference in survival chances,  but we had such sudden, hard freezes that marginal plants were hurt. We would suggest trimming them back to about 6 inches, water but don't fertilize, and wait. If they are well-established, they could come back up from their roots. See this article from the Pima County (AZ) Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners on Bulbine frutescens for more information.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Landscaping a new yard in El Paso, TX
July 01, 2010 - I am starting my back yard, we want to plant some sod grass and shade trees. We were doing some research and came across the Paulownia and the Royal Empress tree. I like them since they grow very fast...
view the full question and answer

Cuttings for non-native red-tip Photinia
April 27, 2009 - We have had wonderful fortune with red tip Photinia.We would like to expand our plantings.Can red tip Photinia be propagated by hard wood cuttings?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native ixora in Punta Gorda, FL
April 16, 2009 - We are having problems with our Ixora plants. The leaves turn yellow, then fall down.
view the full question and answer

Eliminating invasive, non-native chameleon plant from Omaha NE
April 11, 2011 - I have been attempting to eradicate the chameleon plant in my gardens for 3 years. I have sprayed Round Up and covered with newspaper then mulch and it is coming back again this year! I am wondering...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of passion flower in Tunbridge Wells England
April 08, 2013 - I planted my passion plant 3 years ago and I have really looked after it. I think this winter has killed it, it looks so dead. I hope it can be saved; there isn't one part of it that is looking healt...
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