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

Wednesday - June 25, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Information about cenizo care and care of non-native tibouchinas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I just bought some tibouchinas and need some tips. I plan to plant them in an area that gets sun until about 2pm, then shade for the rest of the day. Will these plants thrive in this environment, or what are the best conditions for them? How far apart should I plant them, and how large can I expect them to grow in full-sun and part-shade conditions? Will Leucophyllum frutescens also thrive in a sun-till-2pm area?

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants can't be of too much help with your tibouchinas since they are not native to North America and our focus and expertise are with plants native to North America. Tibouchinas are native to the tropical regions of South America—many are native to Brazil. We don't know what species you have, but T. urvilleana seems to be a popular one. You can read about its care from Floridata.com or try Googling 'tibouchina care' for other sites that have instructions for their care. Since you just bought your plants you could also go back to the store where you purchased them to see if they have care instructions. Our advice is to never go away from the store with a plant without care instructions in hand.

Now, we can tell you about Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) since it is native to Texas, albeit more suited to the drier southwestern regions than humid Houston. However, it will grow in Houston and can grow up to 5 feet high and sometimes taller in landscaped settings with watering. It does best in full sun. It will also grow in part shade (2-6 hours of sunshine per day) but the more sun, the better off it will be. Watering in the summer will make it grow faster, but overwatering it or poor drainage may kill it. It is adapted to dry climatic condidtions.


Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Has Texas Black Persimmon been crossed with non-native persimmons from Austin
August 17, 2013 - Hi. I just found a Texas Black Persimmon in my neighborhood. The fruit is olive green and then black, then it explodes into a black slurry of seeds and syrup. The color is so strong I find myself wond...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of lantanas in San Antonio
July 22, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, We have lantanas in our front yard. This summer the leaves have turned white and they die to a brown color all the while the leaves are "crispy". At the beginning of the season...
view the full question and answer

Are Verbena Annuals Deer Resistant?
March 25, 2015 - Are Verbena Estrella Pink Star annuals deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

Mites in soil of house plants
June 25, 2008 - Hi there! I recently noticed tiny silver mites in the soil of my plants that I only notice after watering. These plants are indoors in on a window ledge (a dwarf palm, aloe plant and Hawaiian Scheffle...
view the full question and answer

Supplier for non-native Norfolk Pine to East Texas
March 17, 2013 - I would like to buy a Norfolk Pine Tree for my uncle who lives 90 miles east of Dallas, Texas. He saw my Norfolk Pine tree in CA which is 30 to 40 ft. tall. Where can I find a company that will ship...
view the full question and answer

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