Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 Transplants Questions

Failure to bud out of nuttall oak in Albany GA
April 26, 2010 - We planted a nutall oak in the fall of 09. It seemed to fare well during the winter. It is now spring and all of our other trees are budding out. The limbs are flexible. Not breaking off easily like t...
view the full question and answer

Mexican Plum not doing well in Liberty Hill, TX.
September 03, 2010 - Two summers have passed since I planted my Mexican Plum. It's in full sun. It seems to have added height but not much width. It's virtually a 7 foot stick with 1 foot branches from top to bottom. It...
view the full question and answer

Possible transplant shock in recently planted Anacua in San Antonio, TX.
February 10, 2011 - I planted an Anacua tree from a nursery this past November. The tree I purchased was about 6ft tall and was a leftover from the spring. The roots were pretty wound up inside. After shaking the roots l...
view the full question and answer

Propagating yaupons (Ilex vomitoria)
November 30, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty, I enjoy your weekly tips printed in the Austin Statesman. We live in the Texas hill country where the soil is essentially rock. One of the nice benefits of our yard and the are...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting non-native mimosas in Braintree MA
August 10, 2010 - I want to transplant some baby mimosa trees. Have tried in past and they just die.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.