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

Thursday - May 23, 2013

From: San Angelo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Planting, Trees
Title: Planting Texas Persimmon in enclosed planter from San Angelo TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to plant a Texas Persimmon (in West Texas) in an enclosed planter 4' X 4' X 2.5' deep. What would be a good planting medium. Does it need to be deeper?

ANSWER:

As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) grows natively in several counties around Tom Green County and would probably do all right there, too. If you follow the above plant link to our webpage on this plant, you will learn that its growing conditions are:

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Drought Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Well-drained, limestone loams, clays, and caliche.
Conditions Comments: North of the Rio Grande Valley where winters are cold, will usually be deciduous. From the Rio Grande Valley southward, will be semi-deciduous-to-evergreen, losing its leaves all at once in early spring like live oaks, with no period of bareness."

Since probably most of West Texas soils are alkaline, and have clay or caliche or both, it appears the native soils in your area would do very well. We would suggest you add some good quality compost to the soil to assist tiny new rootlets in accessing nutrients and moisture from the soil. Since this is basically container gardening, we suggest you read our How-To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants.

We are, however, concerned about the concept of putting this plant in any container but the ground. It can grow 35 to 45 ft. tall, although the more common height is 10 to 15 ft. Since any tree will have larger structures below ground than above, the roots might outgrow the container. Good drainage in the container is absolutely essential; failure to provide an outlet for excess water could cause the roots to rot or fungi to develop.

However, we did find this information from the USDA Forest Service on this plant: "Uses: Bonsai; container or above-ground planter." So, it apparently has been tried and will work. If you are planning to do this, we urge you to either get it done quickly or wait until late Fall. We recommend that woody plants  (trees and shrubs) be planted in cool weather, preferably November to January, while the plant is dormant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

More Container Gardens Questions

Vine for planter box in Berkeley CA
September 29, 2012 - I live in Berkeley, CA and want to plant a vine to crawl up a trellis on my deck. It gets sun most of the day. I need to use planter boxes because there is only patio below and would like something ...
view the full question and answer

Use of non-native pothos for outside wall from Las Vegas NV
January 05, 2014 - I am in Las Vegas, NV. I live in a cottage-style apartment so I have a north facing porch with no one on the west so I get some there (and have an inherited cactus probably a yard all round) I would ...
view the full question and answer

Hanging basket container plants for butterflies and birds
April 08, 2010 - Looking for ideas for hanging baskets that would attract butterflies or birds for interest to a shut-in in North Texas. These would be outside of southwest-facing windows that overlook a paved parkin...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of potted blue-green cypress
July 26, 2008 - I received a small 14" potted blue-green cypress for Christmas 2007. Kept it in a bright window, not direct sun. It was doing great until two weeks ago when it started turning brown from the center. ...
view the full question and answer

Hanging plants for Austin, TX
May 18, 2014 - I'm looking for a hanging potted flower suggestion for Austin. Most locations are shaded under a large tree, but some locations may have several hours of afternoon sun. I'd love to see some hummin...
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