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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - March 13, 2009

From: Deltona, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Low temperature non-native Bauhinia variegata can withstand in Florida
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Bauhinia variegata,I reside in Florida. What is the temp it can withstand in winter? And if it is below freezing, what can be done to protect them from freezing?

ANSWER:

Bauhinia variegata, Purple Orchid Tree is native to temperate and tropical Asia and therefore out of the range of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We recommend the use of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being planted. Native plants will need less water, fertilizer and maintenance to thrive.

Since we obviously will have no information on this plant in our Native Plant Database, let us refer you to this Floridata site Bauhinia variegata.  In part, it says that this plant is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, and can withstand temperatures down to 22 deg. The site also says that after a freeze, the leaves may fall off the Bauhinia, but it will probably recover. You can always cover the tree if a more severe freeze is predicted in your part of Florida. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map indicates that Volusia County, Florida, on the eastern Gulf coast, is in Zones 9a (average annual minimum temperature 20 to 25 deg.F) to 9b (25 to 35 deg. F). 

Please note that Bauhinia variegata is listed as a Category 1 invasive species on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's 2005 list of Invasive Species

 

More Non-Natives Questions

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

Problems with non-native African violets in Des Moines
January 08, 2010 - My violets have stopped blooming after years and have developed a growth in the middle of the plant. Can I save these plants and how can I revive them. Thank you, I am desperate to salvage them as the...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012 - We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 04, 2012 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I have a plant that was given to me and told it was spider plant, but I don't believe it is. The plat grows up and has leaves coming out like a spider plant but they are gree...
view the full question and answer

Mowing wildflower concerns from Lockhart TX
March 30, 2012 - I went to the Texas Highway Department (Texas Department of Transportation) web site and sent them a concern or complaint about them or independent contractors shredding the roadsides before the blueb...
view the full question and answer

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