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

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


Acerola
Malpighia glabra

Acerola
Malpighia glabra

Acerola
Malpighia glabra

More Shrubs Questions

Native plants for a barrier hedge
October 13, 2008 - Is there a native hedge I can plant to provide privacy? I have hostile neighbors behind me and would rather plant a hedge than put up a fence. I looked through the Virginia native species and didn'...
view the full question and answer

Deep Rooted Large Shrub or Small Tree for Driveway Strip
August 21, 2014 - I am in eastern Massachusetts. My condominium Grounds Committee is searching for a small tree suitable to plant in narrow (4'-5') beds which divide two driveways. Can you suggest something whose roo...
view the full question and answer

Eradication of mahonia repens
July 27, 2008 - What is the best way to kill and/or remove mahonia repens?
view the full question and answer

Lantanas with brown leaves
December 18, 2008 - I have several lantana plants here in Austin, TX. They did extremely well all summer long up until our first freeze. It looks like they have all died. Are they just dormant or are they dead? Their lea...
view the full question and answer

Planting shrubs on a rocky slope
September 13, 2008 - I need to plant a rocky slope, facing south and west, to cut down erosion. Other than creating terraces, are there tricks for securing individual shrubs or trees to a slope when planting? What plant...
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