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
4 ratings

Thursday - March 31, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Frost damage to non-native Mexican Maradol papaya from San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted Mexican Maradol papaya in my San Antonio garden last year. The plants grew about 5' tall and were starting to flower. Then the winter freezes blasted them; now there's nothing left but stumps at the ground level. Will these plants grow back from the roots?

ANSWER:

We only found one article on the Mexican Maradol papaya the had any horticultural information. We got enough from that to know it is native to Mexico and South America and therefore we will have no information in our Native Plant Database. Also, the article came from Yucatan, which is way down at the southern tip of Mexico. Because the area where it grows is warmer than the USDA Hardiness Zone of Bexar County which is Zone 8b, it seems probable that damaging freezes like we have had in Central Texas in the last two years do not occur on the home territory of this plant. This is one of the reasons that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommends growing only plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow natively. Native plants in an area are already acclimated by centuries of experience to the temperatures, rainfall and environment in which they are being grown. We would say that the best way to find out if your tree will grow back is to wait and see. If it doesn't show some new growth at the base pretty soon, we would recommend replacing them with something native that knows how to cope with the very unpredictable Texas weather.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

When should I plant bermuda grass seeds?
February 10, 2010 - When should I plant bermuda grass seeds?
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native red orchid
January 11, 2009 - In a nutshell, I was away for about a week and before leaving I watered my red orchid (as instructions said you were only supposed to water it once a week and place in a spot with sunlight but not dir...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native ice plant in Virginia
October 12, 2008 - Regarding the ice plant in Virginia - do you cut it back or just trim or just leave it alone before winter?
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for property in Oaxaca Mexico
January 17, 2011 - I don't know if you can help me with this. I am building a house in Oaxaca Mexico, and I want to use native plants in the landscape. We are on the coast where it stays warm all the time. Do you kn...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant in Kentucky with fuzzy grayish-green leaves
September 03, 2012 - I would like to know about a plant that I do not know what it is. I had this plant just come up in my flowerbed, that looked like a tobacco plant but the leaves looked like a lambs ear plant. It was ...
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