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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - July 27, 2008

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Cotton plant for yard in Plano
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I wish to plant a specimen cotton plant in my yard - will it grow in Plano, Texas, do you have any tips for maintaining them, and will they survive freezing temperatures?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America. Most agricultural products are non-native, and virtually all of them have been hybridized until they bear little similarity to their native ancestors. Our seed sources, of course, all carry native plants, and would not stock seeds from the hybridized plants. Again, they are produced for commercial use in agriculture and, not only are they extensively treated for disease and insect resistance, but sales are probably in very large amounts. The chance of your finding someone willing to sell you a handful of cotton seeds, untreated, is likely slim to none.

That, however, is not your biggest problem. It is illegal for homeowners to grow cotton where cotton is a cash crop, because of the boll weevil eradication problem. The boll weevil eradication zone runs from Virginia down to Texas, and out to Tennessee and Missouri, especially Texas or Arkansas, where the weevil is still active.

In those areas, some states will issue you a permit if you put up pheromone traps and destroy the crop if you capture a weevil, but some won’t. Although the likelihood of a garden crop becoming a serious threat is small, there is the fear that a homeowner could accidentally create a little safe haven breeding ground that might lead to an outbreak.

And, just in case we haven't discouraged you enough, cotton is a very warm climate crop, it does not like temperatures below 60 deg. It is a tropical perennial, but in Plano, Texas would be an annual.

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Information about Lady Lupine (Lupinus villosus)
April 20, 2008 - Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, Lady Lupine grows in our yard in northeast Florida, and I would like to learn more about it, especially the stages it goes through, like now the purple petals themselves are c...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Simsia calva from Albuquerque NM
January 27, 2014 - Hi - I was given some simsia calva seed from the LBJ wildflower center. It doesn't have a lot of info about starting the seeds, so any help is much appreciated! I tried starting some outdoors last ye...
view the full question and answer

Appearance of Viola lanceolota after controlled burn
March 28, 2009 - Oh Great Green Guru, I just recently found Viola lanceolota (bog white violet) on a portion of Brazos Bend State Park’s prairie that was burned about 2 months ago to control for woody growth. (I wou...
view the full question and answer

Dietes bicolor(Bicolor Iris) winter-hardiness in Austin
February 09, 2010 - I have many bi-color irises (dietes bicolor), the freeze in Austin turned them brown. Can I trim them back without harming the plants? If trimming is acceptable, can you give me tips?
view the full question and answer

Turks cap not blooming in Austin
June 03, 2008 - Why is my Turks Cap not blooming? It gets about an hour of sun in the morning, then shade for the rest of the day. It gets watered with the sprinkler system that waters our lawn.
view the full question and answer

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