Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Distance from wall to plant Eastern red cedar
September 26, 2008 - I want to plant a row of Eastern red cedar on the high side of a 2 to 2 1/2 ft large Pavestone block retaining wall, preferably as close to the wall as possible. We have put maybe 4-5" of gravel beh...
view the full question and answer

Saving a 350-year old Live Oak
March 14, 2015 - I live in Jefferson Parish outside New Orleans. I have a large Live Oak tree that is over 350 years old and has been damaged by Katrina. I have contacted one arborist and they said that the tree is st...
view the full question and answer

Stressed live oaks from Lakeway TX
August 19, 2013 - I have some Live Oaks who appear to be stressed (Ball Moss is becoming very prevalent on some of them) during the drought in Central TX. How often and how long should I water them? Thank you very much...
view the full question and answer

Deciduous shade tree for Inland California dry hills
July 26, 2011 - What type of tree would work well in our back yard? We're looking for a deciduous tree that doesn't grow too tall, maybe 20'. We'd like it to have spreading branches to provide shade during the su...
view the full question and answer

Re-landscaping in Stephenville, TX.
November 17, 2012 - I prefer native plants. We are re-landsacaping, so I need grass, ground cover, vines and flowers to plant in our back yard. We have many trees and the whole yard is shady. A small area might be con...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.