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

Failure of Gerbera daisies in hanging basket
July 08, 2008 - I had perennial Gerbera daisies in a hanging basket, the flowers died,I was not sure whether to remove just the flower or to go from the flower to the stem at the plants main stem? There is nothing re...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012 - We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
view the full question and answer

Fertilizer burns on non-native St. Augustine grass
September 07, 2009 - We put summer guard fertilizer on our lush St. Augustine grass and it didn't get watered in after application. As a result we have burned the yard badly in patches. What can we do to correct proble...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native indoor palm in Guilford CT
April 08, 2012 - My question is I have an indoor palm plant that I have had for 7 yrs. It has grown from about a 5" plant to about 3' tall plant. The past few weeks the leaves are turning yellow & brown and lost abo...
view the full question and answer

Native alternative to tulips from Milford MI
October 15, 2013 - What could be a good alternative to tulips? I have not seen a native plant quite like a tulip (except a tulip tree). A good alternative should bloom in April or May and have showy flowers. I searched...
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