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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - December 27, 2012

From: Granbury, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Growing non-native avocado outside from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My son has a very large avocado tree that he rooted from a pit that is currently growing in a large container. However, it has gotten too big to winter inside. Can it be planted in the ground in Austin, Texas?

ANSWER:

If it is too big to grow indoors, you don't have much choice - you grow it outside. Will it survive? We have no idea. It is a tropical plant, native to Mexico, Central and South America. This USDA Plant Profile map shows that it grows in the United States only in South Florida, Miami-Dade County. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America (excluding Mexico) but to the area in which they are being planted (in this case, Travis County, TX). The reason for this is to avoid wasting precious resources like water and back muscles on plants that have little chance of surviving. You might try a sheltered, sunny area, Since obviously the tree has already cost you nothing to be planted, give it a try, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Here is more information on Persea americana (avocado) from Purdue Unversity.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Lightning protection of smooth bark cypress
October 05, 2008 - I have been told that the smooth bark cypress stores a large amount of water at its base and if lightning strikes, it will explode and extinguish the flames. Could you tell me if this is a myth? I'...
view the full question and answer

Pruning wax myrtles from Austin
March 29, 2011 - I've got some wax myrtles that have grown up in the last 10 years on my property line, completely volunteer. My neighbor has begun to grumble about too much shade on his yard. I'd like to trim them ...
view the full question and answer

Care of a live oak with decay and perhaps fungus on trunk
July 14, 2011 - I have a huge live oak on my property in Salado that just lost a very large branch. The branch had decay in the center and also has a variety of bugs in it, espeically since it has been on the ground...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree dropping limbs in Grand Prairie, TX.
September 04, 2012 - Our 15 year old pecan tree is losing it's limbs. The tree and its leaves look healthy with no signs of bugs or mites, but all the limbs are drooping and breaking off. The tree did have a bumper crop ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on southern magnolia
April 11, 2005 - I live in East Texas and there are two 50-year-old southern magnolia trees in front of my house on the highway right-of-way marked to be destroyed. The Texas Department of Transportation has allowed t...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center