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?


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


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.


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

Malpighia glabra

Malpighia glabra

Malpighia glabra

More Shrubs Questions

Non-native Indian Hawthorn not flowering in Fairfield, TX
March 17, 2012 - My indian hawthorn shrubs won't flower, they are the white variety and I live in Freestone County, Texas, greenery is beautiful and very healthy plants but no flowers Have had the plants for over tw...
view the full question and answer

Non-native photinias dying from Austin
September 14, 2012 - I have some red tip potinias that are dying. The ends of the branches are dying and the leaves are turning brown, I don't think this is the fungus that affects most red tips, any clues?
view the full question and answer

Fragrant native plants for San Antonio, TX
August 19, 2009 - I live in San Antonio, Texas, and I am re-landscaping my backyard after my dog ate some of the beautiful blooming oleander and had to spend some time at the vet's. My backyard is my sanctuary, and it...
view the full question and answer

Shrub to hide gas line and water faucet from Stamford CT
May 23, 2013 - I have a small garden ( 8'x10') in front of my house in southwestern Connecticut which faces north. It gets very limited sun and the eave hangs over it. I am looking for a shrub to plant up against ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small shrub
May 27, 2007 - Need an identity of a small bush, probably native . There is only a single limb sticking out of a large dense evergreen holly. It is deciduous, has opposite ovate entire simple leaves, and clusters o...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center