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

Why is my 3 year old Redbud not flowering in San Marcos, TX?
March 24, 2010 - My Cercis canadensis var. mexicana, purchased at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, is 3 years old, very robust, but has never bloomed. Any explanation?
view the full question and answer

Brown spots on live oak leaves in Cedar Park, TX.
July 22, 2009 - I have a live oak that was planted 4 years ago. It had several brown spots last summer, but recovered over the winter. Now it has lots of brown leaves and looks very sad. What is the best way to he...
view the full question and answer

Problems with mature cottonwood in Justin TX
September 17, 2012 - I have a very large, 90" circumference, approx 60' tall, cottonwood tree in my front yard that appears to be sick. The trunk splits at about the 4' level into 2 parts. at that split is a 10" wide...
view the full question and answer

Problems with sophora secundiflora
April 19, 2008 - My mountain laurel is looking bad. It has lost of its leaves, especially on the lower part of the tree (it's about 7 feet tall) and many of the remaining ones don't look good - they are curled up an...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy in PA
July 18, 2011 - We need to plant a privacy/sound barrier hedge/hedgerow and my husband says it must be evergreen. I am not familiar with which species would be native to our area and I just don't trust those big sto...
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