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 - June 14, 2009

From: Idaho Falls, ID
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Winter-hardiness of hibiscus in Idaho
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

I bought a hibiscus tree at Sam's Club in Idaho Falls and after planting it, I read the label which says not to go below 50 degrees. Does that mean it is an inside or potted tree to bring in in the winter? Will it die if left planted outside for the Idaho Winter?

ANSWER:

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, our mission is to educate people about their native plants, encouraging their use in the landscape. According to The Native Plant Database, there are no hibiscus varieties native to Idaho, and that puts your question out of our real area of expertise.

However, if your plant is not rated for below 50 degrees F, it won't make it through the winter outdoors in Idaho Falls, which is in Zone 5-6 and experiences a cold, continental-climate winter. If it is a tropical hibiscus (Glossy, ovate leaves are characteristic of tropical hibiscus.), even indoors it will probably require some winter supplementary light that far north. Here is a site that provides some advice on growing tropical hibiscus in a northern climate.

 

More Seasonal Tasks Questions

Too late to begin planting in May in Austin?
April 30, 2008 - Is it too late to begin planting in May? I live in Austin Texas and have finally completed my plans for a native Texas landscaping (plants and grass) of my front yard. I'd like to get the landscapi...
view the full question and answer

Moving a red oak away from the house foundation
January 24, 2008 - About a 3 weeks ago I noticed a 5 ft. red oak growing in my flower bed. I hadn't noticed it growing up through my shrubs until the leaves turned bright red. The problem is that its coming up about tw...
view the full question and answer

Arrows and Hunting Dogs in Kentucky
December 09, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants--Is it normal for our arrowwood viburnum to give off a musky odour in the late fall? The smell reminds me of a wet hunting dog.
view the full question and answer

Trimming native salvias in January
January 17, 2008 - I have heard you can trim Hot Lips, Raspberry and other salvias back severely in January, to about six inches from the ground. Is this correct?
view the full question and answer

Winter pruning for yucca in Adrian, Michigan
October 11, 2010 - Can I cut yucca plants down for winter months.
view the full question and answer

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