En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - August 12, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants
Title: Should I plant a potted Texas Star Hibiscus in August in Austin, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I bought a red Texas Star Hibiscus, in March, in a 6" pot and 2 ft tall. I repotted it to a 12" clay pot, put it under deck roof near edge, where it gets a bit of morning sun and filtered light rest of day. It's 95+ degrees on deck daily, so I water it daily. It's grown to 5' with 1-2 blooms daily. Should I put it in the ground in August, or wait till next spring? I don't want to shock or kill it. It's leggy, but otherwise fine. I am in zone 9, I believe. Thanks so much for all you do on your site!

ANSWER:

The Texas Star Hibiscus Hibiscus coccineus (scarlet rosemallow) has a spectacular flower which this article from Floridata says is one of the one of the largest and most beautiful of North American native flowers. The plant occurs naturally in swamps, marshes, and ditches from southern Georgia to central Florida, so keeping it well watered is a good idea; just don't overdo the watering.

I wouid not recommend putting your Hibiscus into the ground during August in Austin. This would stress the plant, and you would probably lose the blooms that you are now getting. The plant is a perennial and will go dormant over winter and resprout in the spring. By waiting till later in the fall when the plant begins to go dormant, you can minimize the transplant shock and allow the roots to become established and get ready for spring. It is hardy in USDA Zones 7-11 (Austin is in USDA Zone 8) so it should survive the winter just fine.

The plant is probably getting leggy because it isn't receiving enough sun.


Hibiscus coccineus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Planting Questions

BEST SPACING AND EXPECTED HEIGHT FOR ACEROLA (BARBADOS CHERRY) IN COLLEGE STATION, TX
October 09, 2010 - What is the best spacing for Malpighia glabra plants and how tall will they grow in College Station, TX?
view the full question and answer

When Should Wildflower Seeds be Planted in Dallas, Texas
November 28, 2011 - Mr. Pants: I have received some seed packets of wildflower seeds from GO TEXAN. How late can I plant these in central Dallas (8 a/b)?
view the full question and answer

Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
June 23, 2012 - What North Texas evergreen or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
view the full question and answer

Proper time of year to plant evergreens in New York
October 25, 2008 - Dear Smarty Plants, Is it too late to plant evergreen Thuja, blue spruce and firs in Cleveland, New York? Vicki
view the full question and answer

When is the best time to transplant Esperanza bushe in Buda, TX?
September 04, 2013 - When is the best time to transplant an Esperanza bush? I want to move it because it is overwhelming my front yard. Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center