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

Saturday - April 28, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Trees
Title: Speed of growth on plants from Plant Sale from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, I recently attended the native plant sale and bought several plants for a sunny curbside bed in central Austin. Due to financial constraints I stuck with the 3 inch varieties so I could buy 3 of each type. They are planted in groups and look beautiful even as babies. I can't wait to see the day that the plants mature and fill in to give privacy and curb appeal. I am wondering how long each plant will take to reach maturity, again, they are the 3 inch sizes now. Here are the plants I bought. They are in a sunny location with good drainage: Red Yucca, Mealy Blue Sage, Square Bud Primrose, Mexican Feather Grass, Wrights Penstemon, Bulbine, 1 gallon sized orchid tree. I spaced each according to their full size and am really curious how many years it will take. Thank you!

ANSWER:

We are going to give you links to our webpage on each of these plants. In general, we can't predict how quickly a plant will reach its full size, but perennials usually take at least 2 years to begin to flower, and then will thicken and grow taller from there. You can sometimes find out from the website if the plant is fast or slow-growing, and also make sure you have the proper conditions for each plant; is it getting enough sun, the right amount of water, etc?

The bulbine that you listed is not in our Native Plant Database, nor did we find it on the Spring Sale Plant List. This website on Bulbine frutescens from the Master Gardeners of Pima County, AZ states that it is a native of Africa. Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but also to the area in which they grow natively, we wonder if you got the name mixed up? Anyway, we can't tell you anything about a plant by that name. Here are the links to the other plants you listed:

Hesperaloe parviflora (Red yucca)

Salvia farinacea (Mealy blue sage)

Calylophus berlandieri (Berlandier's sundrops)

Nassella tenuissima (Mexican feathergrass)

Penstemon wrightii (Wright's beardtongue)

Bauhinia lunarioides (Anacacho orchid tree)

 

From the Image Gallery


Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

Berlandier's sundrops
Calylophus berlandieri

Mexican feathergrass
Nassella tenuissima

Wright's penstemon
Penstemon wrightii

Anacacho orchid tree
Bauhinia lunarioides

More Trees Questions

Identifying Rhus lanceolata in Texas
April 28, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I think I've identified two small trees, 4 to 5 feet high at the back fence line and two in the front yard flower beds as prairie flameleaf sumac (or at least some kind of s...
view the full question and answer

Are hackberries harmful to other trees?
March 25, 2009 - A neighbor warned me that a hackberry tree that naturally sprouted up recently will harm the roots of other trees nearby and that it is such a bad tree we should take it down before it gets too big. I...
view the full question and answer

Tree for a Missouri yard
March 10, 2012 - Our front yard tree died. We have landscaping that needs shade. We are in Zone 5, looking for a fast/medium growing shade tree that does not produce anything that falls into the grass and will allow t...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Sedona AZ
August 02, 2013 - I live In Sedona Az. A builder just built a house next to my house and the new house is ugly to look at. What plant or tree would grow fast and reach 18 foot in height fast. It can be about 5 to 6 foo...
view the full question and answer

Persimmon trunk grown around fence rail in Austin
November 08, 2012 - I have a Texas Persimmon in my backyard that is about 12-15 feet tall. It's been growing next to a chain-link fence and over the years, the top rail of the fence has cut into the bark on the trunk. A...
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