En Español

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 - April 06, 2014

From: Elmendorf, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Shrubs
Title: Age before blooming of a Fendler rupicola from Elmendorf TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How old does a Fendlera rupicola plant have to be before it will bloom?

ANSWER:

Fendlera rupicola (Cliff fendlerbush) is a deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub in the the 6-12 ft height range. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows it does grow natively in Comal County TX just north of Bexar County, where you are, so it should be able to grow well in your area. However, the largest concentration of the plant is in the Big Bend area of West Texas. From our webpage on Fendlera rupicola (Cliff fendlerbush), here are its growing conditions:

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Igneous or limestone soils.
Conditions Comments: May become lanky; improved by pruning. Drought-tolerant."

No mention was made on the webpage of whether it was fast- or slow-growing, but we did see it classified as "slow-growing" in another document which could mean its first flowering is after several years of maturity. It is usually difficult to predict the point at which a shrub will begin to put on blooms, largely depending on weather conditions, rainfalls and sunlight.

If you want to get really technical, from the New Phytologist here is an article on "Experiments on the Juvenile-Adult Phase Change in some Woody Shrubs." If you want a non-guaranteed guess, we would say, from experience with smaller woody shrubs that by its third or fourth year in the ground the plant will probably begin to show some blooms. This will be earlier if the plant has been planted as a cutting instead of a seed.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cliff fendlerbush
Fendlera rupicola

Cliff fendlerbush
Fendlera rupicola

Cliff fendlerbush
Fendlera rupicola

More Shrubs Questions


May 01, 2015 - Greetings! I am hoping to gain privacy on a 30' swath with existing 6' privacy fence, I need about 14' of height to hide unsightly apartments. Location is full sun without a nearby spigot, I can ...
view the full question and answer

Comments on non-native Tecomas from Phoenix AZ
October 11, 2011 - There was a question regarding red Tecomas but I see no way to make a comment directly to that. There are indeed red Tecomas on the market one being Tecoma x 'Bells of Fire' tm and ppaf. I am the ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen flowering shrubs for AZ
May 16, 2010 - I need to know about evergreen flowering shrubs no more than 3 to 4' height.
view the full question and answer

Transplanting and Pruning Callicarpa
August 21, 2014 - I saw the previous question about Callicarpa from the guy in Texas and I have two questions based on the response. In SW Vermont, is late fall still the best time to transplant my Callicarpas? Also, i...
view the full question and answer

Edibility of Washington Hawthorn berries from Williamsport PA
February 22, 2014 - Please tell me if Washington Hawthorn berries and leaves are edible and if so, how to prepare them. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center