Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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

Thursday - December 27, 2012

From: Granbury, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Growing non-native avocado outside from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My son has a very large avocado tree that he rooted from a pit that is currently growing in a large container. However, it has gotten too big to winter inside. Can it be planted in the ground in Austin, Texas?

ANSWER:

If it is too big to grow indoors, you don't have much choice - you grow it outside. Will it survive? We have no idea. It is a tropical plant, native to Mexico, Central and South America. This USDA Plant Profile map shows that it grows in the United States only in South Florida, Miami-Dade County. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America (excluding Mexico) but to the area in which they are being planted (in this case, Travis County, TX). The reason for this is to avoid wasting precious resources like water and back muscles on plants that have little chance of surviving. You might try a sheltered, sunny area, Since obviously the tree has already cost you nothing to be planted, give it a try, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Here is more information on Persea americana (avocado) from Purdue Unversity.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Apache Pine for Dripping Springs, TX.
July 02, 2014 - Is the Apache Pine tree a good choice for planting in alkaline soil with excellent drainage?
view the full question and answer

Information on care and transplant of non-native Bamboo in North Carolina
April 15, 2006 - I am considering transplanting some bamboo from my backyard to my side yard in Northern Randolph County, Central Piedmont, North Carolina. Could you offer me any pointers on a direct ground to gro...
view the full question and answer

Lifespan of non-native weeping cherry tree
September 17, 2008 - What is the lifespan of a weeping cherry tree? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Getting flowers to grow under non-native globe willow in Salt Lake City
June 12, 2010 - We have a globe willow in our back yard that is about 15 years old and cannot get any flowers to grow under it. Can you recommend what we need to do to treat the soil, and what type of flowers will gr...
view the full question and answer

Tree to replace non-native Japanese maple in Westerville, OH
September 19, 2009 - I am wanting to plant a Japanese maple in an area of my yard that probably gets too much sun for this plant. I am trying to figure out what kind of plant I could plant instead to get an Asian feel I a...
view the full question and answer

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