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

A cactus-like plant with stinky flowers
July 22, 2013 - Because of the green parts looking like certain cacti, a friend insists that this plant she saw in Mexico is one. Its blossom doesn't have the rose-like structure that cacti have, but resembles the ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Eugenia in Scottsdale AZ
June 02, 2012 - I have 5 eugenia topiaries in my courtyard in pots..I notice as the days here in Phoenix get hotter and dry (as usual) they are starting to look bad, even though they are under a shelter out of the di...
view the full question and answer

Problem with crapemyrtle shoots in Victoria, TX
May 13, 2009 - I have a problem with crepe myrtle shoots coming up in my flowerbed. I had to remove a large crepe myrtle tree (18" diameter stump) and digging out the stump was not possible. I killed the stump wi...
view the full question and answer

Identification of insects on crepe myrtle in Florida
May 22, 2013 - I have large colonies of striped bugs on large crepe myrtle in my backyard. They stay in large groups and have long antennae. There are larger black bugs among the groups that appear to corral and g...
view the full question and answer

Problems for non-native St. Augustine grass from Little Rock AR
July 18, 2012 - We sodded St. Augustine grass four weeks ago. For the first three weeks we had no rain and temperatures over 100 degrees. We have watered 20 minutes twice a day since installation. There are brown pat...
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