Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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

Monday - July 12, 2010

From: Mokena, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Mexican sage bushes in Mokena IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have two Mexican sage bushes; can they be planted in Illinois and survive the winter?

ANSWER:

Salvia leucantha, Mexican bush sage, is native to Mexico and Central America, and therefore out of our range of expertise, which is plants native to North America as well as to the area in which they are being grown. From this Floridata site, Salvia leucantha,  we learned that it hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 10. It can sometimes be raised as an annual in colder zones, but it blooms so late in the Summer, indeed in the Fall, that it may already be frozen back before it ever gets the chance to bloom. Your location in Will County, northeast Illinois, is Zone 5a to 5b. We wouldn't encourage your spending time and resources on trying to get it to perennialize, or even bloom one season.

Pictures of Salvia leucantha from Google.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Does a cenizo really predict rain in Austin?
July 18, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, folklore has it that the flowering of Cenizo (aka Barometer Bush) is a predictor of rain fall. The Cenizo in South Austin is blooming profusely right now. Does this portend a Noac...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Gregg's mistflower from Fredericksburg, TX
May 19, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Something is wilting the tops of my Gregg's mistflower, Conoclinium greggii. I cannot see bugs on the plant, so I am wondering if it's a disease. The problem is widespread to...
view the full question and answer

Source for Texas Star hibiscus from Grand Prairie TX
June 24, 2012 - I am having a lot of difficulty in trying to find and purchase a Texas Hibiscus. Any clues?
view the full question and answer

Is straggler daisy deer resistant from Austin
October 08, 2012 - Is straggler daisy (horseherb) deer resistant? We have lots of deer in our NW Hills, Austin neighborhood, and a lot of shade where not much will grow. Is that plant a good candidate for ground cover...
view the full question and answer

Growing Plumeria in Ohio
July 15, 2008 - Can I grow plumeria in Ohio? We were in Hawaii this past week and I brought two plants home to try to grow. Thanks a bunch.
view the full question and answer

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