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 Non-Natives Questions

Non-native vines poisonous from Bakersfield CA
May 17, 2013 - Are pink bower vines and stars and stripes mandevilla toxic to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Nativity of Lantana camara and Strelitzia reginae
November 08, 2011 - I was wondering why Lantana Camara is not in the Wildflower's database. Multiple sources say it is native to the U.S. and North America. I was also wondering if Strelitzia reginae (Bird-of-Paradise...
view the full question and answer

Non-native daylilies for steep hill in Manassas VA
April 25, 2013 - Would like to plant steep hill w perennial flowering plants like daylily. The daylily farm said this would work great but not sure if we should lay landscaping fabric and poke through holes to plant ...
view the full question and answer

Texas native bamboo vs. non-native for hedge.
August 25, 2008 - Why is Mr. Smarty Plants so against bamboo when there is a native American/Texan bamboo and an active bamboo society in the Austin area? I live in Central East Austin and I need the cheapest, fas...
view the full question and answer

Can I move my Dwarf Orange tree from California to Florida?
April 12, 2012 - I am moving from California to Florida and have a small dwarf orange tree. Can I bring it with me to Florida? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

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