Contact Us Host an Event 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
2 ratings

Thursday - February 26, 2009

From: Granbury, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Trimming back Texas Star hibiscus in Granbury TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can I trim back my Texas Star Hibuscus? And when do I do that?

ANSWER:

The funny thing about Hibiscus coccineus (scarlet rosemallow), also called Texas Star Hibiscus, is that it isn't even native to Texas, but is a southeastern United States plant, with its range from Florida to Mississippi. Some plant nursery operator looked at those gorgeous red flowers and decided it would sell well named "Texas Star." This is okay, because it's still a North American native, and has adapted well to Texas soils.  And, yes, it can be trimmed. We used to trim ours as soon as they began to die back to the ground in the Fall, leaving about 6 inches of stub to show where the roots where. It can certainly still be trimmed now, and clean up any fallen leaves or debris to help prevent mold and harboring insects. It emerges from the roots fairly late in the Spring.


Hibiscus coccineus

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Premature leaf drop on Red Maple in Kentucky
June 25, 2008 - I have a ten foot Red Maple tree that has been set out for 4 years. Its leaves have slowly turned colors until it currently looks like fall. The leaves are not falling off nor is there yet any s...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Cuphea Plants
February 04, 2013 - The David Verity cuphea (cigar plants) that I planted last spring are now 3-4 feet high. I would like to move them, but before I do they seem to need pruning. All the branches are brown and dry lookin...
view the full question and answer

Washingtonia palms need to be skirted?
August 31, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have five Washingtonia palms on my property that have never been skirted and look rather shabby. The interesting thing is that they have thrived (20-30 ft) here to begin with...
view the full question and answer

Will catalpa roots damage a nearby swimming pool?
July 13, 2013 - Will a catalpa tree cause problems to my swimming pool? It is 8 feet away and I cut all the branches off every fall. It then grows back to about 6 feet in diameter an makes a great garden feature but ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of wax myrtle in St. Augustine FL
May 30, 2009 - How severely can we prune our wax myrtle? It had grown 10 feet tall and very spindly and we want it to be a border hedge in front of the preserve in back of our yard.
view the full question and answer

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