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
1 rating

Friday - January 25, 2013

From: Conway, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Hardiness of Acerola bush for Conway AR
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How far north can you grow an Acerola bush? I live in Conway, AR, which is north of Little Rock.We used to be Zone 7, but now we are on the edge of Zone 8, I believe.

ANSWER:

Malpighia glabra (Acerola)  is a truly beautiful flowering shrub, and we wish you could grow it in Conway AR, too. Located in Faulkner Co., when we look at the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone, it appears you are in Zone 7a. Austin is in Zone 7b.

From our webpage on this shrub:

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone. Well-drained.
Conditions Comments: Half of the winters in the Austin area are mild enough for Barbados cherry to keep its leaves. It is useful as a dense screening hedge that may be left soft, sheared, or as a specimen. Birds quickly gobble up its bright, edible fruit and adult butterflies feed on the nectar. Standard tall and dwarf spreading varieties exist."

From Trade Winds Fruit, here is some more information on Acerola. Dave's Garden Forum says the Hardiness Zones for this plant are 9b to 11.

If that sunny sheltered corner we suggested is too much sun for the plant in the summer, that blows that theory. This is really your decision to make. If you feel your soils match what is needed by the Acerola and that it can get through your winters, it's certainly worth a try.

 

From the Image Gallery


Barbados cherry
Malpighia glabra

Barbados cherry
Malpighia glabra

Barbados cherry
Malpighia glabra

More Shrubs Questions

Problem with Adding 5 inches of Mulch and Soil Under Juniper
July 03, 2016 - My landscaper added about 3" of mulch and 2" of dirt under my ashe junipers to create a planting bed. Several have turned gold/yellowish this winter including a female tree. They are still flexible an...
view the full question and answer

Hedge in Desert Full Sun
March 25, 2012 - We want a short hedge, 2-3 ft tall, small leaves that fill in to full looking hedge. It is in Phoenix Arizona area and gets full sun all afternoon
view the full question and answer

Low water hedge for Sedona, AZ
August 19, 2009 - I'm looking for a shrub to plant along a 90' property line with my neighbor in Sedona, Arizona (high desert). Ideally, the shrub would grow to about 8' and would not require too much water. What wo...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf evergreen shrub for windowboxes in Staten Island , NY
April 03, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Could you recommend a dwarf evergreen shrub, not deciduous that also has pretty flowers that would thrive in a container in the northeast...area would have sun for about 4 -5...
view the full question and answer

Diseased non-native red tip photinias from Richmond VA
April 08, 2014 - Our red tip trees have a while substance on the bark at the base of each tree..look like some kind of fungus or mold, but we don't know how to get rid of it. Please help.
view the full question and answer

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