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?


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

Friday - August 26, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Non-native Pride of Barbados from San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have some very successful wildly blooming "Dwarf Pride of Barbados" plants growing in my xeriscape garden. Each year I cut them back to the ground. I have just purchased a new variety called "Caesalpinia pulcherrima Compton" which is a pink variety. It was shipped with one stem [almost tree like] and it is different in that it has thorns. I was wondering if it should be cut back annually like its cousin. Thanking you in advance


"Caesalpinia pulcherrima Compton" from Dave's Garden was about the only information we could obtain on this plant, as it is South American in origin. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America, but to the area in which the plants are growing.

From Texas A&M Cooperative Extension, Bexar County, we found this article on Pride of Barbados. Perhaps they will know the answer to your question on the "cousin," so we suggest you contact the Bexar County Extension Office-Horticulture.


More Pruning Questions

Texas sage losing inner leaves
May 14, 2015 - I have a Texas Sage bush that on the outside is beautiful with green leaves. The inside branches (the middle) of the bush are bare of any leaves. Why?
view the full question and answer

Lilies not blooming from Austin
May 03, 2013 - Last December 8, you published a letter in the Statesman that I had written to you regarding Rain Lilies, Oxblood Lilies, and Copper Lilies. The were sprouting in my garage in a bag. You recommended...
view the full question and answer

Leggy purple coneflower
August 20, 2007 - Last year I planted purple coneflowers and this year when they bloomed they were extremely tall & leggy. I'd like next year to get them to be shorter and fuller. How do I do that & is it something ...
view the full question and answer

How to Prune a Mountain Laurel to make it more tree like in Hendersen, NV
April 28, 2011 - How do I prune a Texas Mountain Laurel into a tree? Just bought a 15 gal. with two trunks above the crown. Was told that multiple trunks are their natural growth, which is OK. But all research call...
view the full question and answer

Improving blooming on mock orange
March 03, 2008 - I have a now 6 yr. old mock orange shrub in the garden which has never bloomed, darn it. I have fed, not fed, mulched, not mulched, sheared, not sheared. What gives? Will it ever bloom, or shall I ...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center