En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 07, 2004

From: Greensboro, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Soils
Title: Patience for slow-growing Baptisia
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff


I have three different varieties of well established Baptisia that I have had for several years ... none of them bloom. One of my plants got a very small flower in April, but just pooped out after that. They are pretty plants, nice foliage ... but I love the blooms that I never get. They are in very loamy soil ... about six inches of decayed leaf litter with clay underneath. Any suggestions?


The answer to your question lies in patience. Baptisia species are slow growing, generally providing blooming after a 2 to 3 year period of maturity. They are members of the Pea family (Fabaceae), have long taproots, do not respond well to transplanting, and most of the species require full sun with well draining soil. Depending on the species that you have acquired, next year may provide adequate blooming for you.


More Planting Questions

Trees for Plum Grove, TX
October 05, 2013 - Sorry Mr. Smarty pants, my question is I live in Plum Grove Texas, I have 5 acres and NO TREES. What trees were on the property were either taken out by Ike, or the twisters that followed. I have boug...
view the full question and answer

Annual plants for weed control in Pflugerville,TX?
September 14, 2010 - Can you suggest an annual or summer-dormant plant to mix with Dalea frutescens? The object is to discourage the spring-emerging weeds that precede the leafing out of the Dalea, so it should finish bl...
view the full question and answer

Problem with magnolias and yaupon in Prosper TX
May 13, 2012 - Problem with Little Gem magnolia - 3 little gems planted next to a fence, in Prosper, TX. Planted 3 years ago, 2009, one of the trees is now withering. The other 2 are doing fine, the one has leaves...
view the full question and answer

Slow development in Shumard Oak from Porter TX
April 02, 2013 - We had two Shumard Oaks Planted in Sept of last year (2012). About a month later, they started browning and dropping their leaves (no color change). Now I noticed on one of the trees the buds have sta...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native petunias from Hodgeville, KY
May 12, 2013 - Planting petunias again in a house border bed.. It has been a tradition for 30+ years to plant the small upright petunias in this particular bed. It started as a Mothers Day gift to my Grandmother, ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center