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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 15, 2010

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care for non-native tropical hibiscus in Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How to care for a tropical hibiscus plant? How much water, sun, fertilizer? I am novice gardener in Houston, TX. From much reading, April seems to be the month I cut all blooms and let the plant lie dormant. Please help, I am confused.

ANSWER:

Since you are a novice gardener, we invite you to read our How-To Article A Guide to Native Plant Gardening. Tthe Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown, so the Tropical Hibiscus would fall out of our range of expertise. 

There are 13 members of the Hibiscus genus native to North America, 11 native to Texas and two, Hibiscus lasiocarpos (rosemallow) and Hibiscus laevis (halberdleaf rosemallow) native to the Harris County area. Those, however, are not what you could ordinarily refer to as "tropical" hibiscus. You likely have a hybrid of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, probable origin tropical Asia, much cultivated and hybridized.  You can follow the plant links above to the pages in our Native Plant Database on the Hibiscus native to Harris County, and may learn the answers to some of your questions. We would also refer you to these websites that are NOT confined to natives and have a great deal of information:

Gardening-guides.com Hibiscus: Tropical and Temperate

The Tropical Hibiscus - A Brief History

The American Hibiscus Society

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Hibiscus lasiocarpos

Hibiscus lasiocarpos

Hibiscus laevis

Hibiscus laevis

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Aphids in non-native crape myrtles in Austin
August 19, 2009 - What is the least toxic way of getting rid of aphids? They are on a crapemyrtle and I do not think it will hold up to really forceful water spray. Due to the drought in Central Texas, our St. Augus...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)
August 08, 2006 - I was given a desert rose and i'm looking for general information about planting, watering, how much sun it needs etc. I hope you can help. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Non-native daylilies and pachysandra in same area from New York City
April 07, 2012 - Will daylilies and pachysandra thrive if planted in the same bed, or will they harm each other?
view the full question and answer

Shriveling agave from Miami Florida
August 23, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Most upset - My beautiful agave (wish I could have submitted an image) has stared to misbehave. The once first liquid filled leaves, are starting to look more like the skin ...
view the full question and answer

Need trees to screen view of parking garage in Houston, TX.
December 29, 2011 - We live in Houston, TX with a beautiful lot except a 4 story parking garage has been built behind us. How can we screen this and the lights out of site. It looks terrible from the second story espec...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center