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

Wednesday - July 18, 2007

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Encouraging bloom on non-native Batwing Erythrina
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi! I have a Batwing Erythrina in the ground next to my driveway in full sun in Houston. It's nine years old and is about twenty feet tall, but it does not bloom. What can I do? Thanks for your sage advice, Mr. Smarty!

ANSWER:

The focus of research and the extent of our expertise is limited to those plant species native to North America. Your plant, Erythrina vespertilio, Batwing Coraltree, is a native of Australia. We do not know why your tree is not flowering. However, some plants produce flowers only after some stress. If your tree is getting lots of water and fertilizer, you might consider withholding one or both early in the growing season when it would normally initiate flower buds. This might be all of the impetus the tree needs to flower from then on.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Best for Austin-non-native loquat or kumquat?
May 04, 2010 - I was wondering which tree is suited better in the Austin,TX, area, the Loquat or the Kumquat, do they lose their leaves in the winter and do they bear fruits?
view the full question and answer

Could ammonia harm poisonous, non-native oleander in Bay Point CA
December 20, 2009 - Could ammonia harm my Oleander plant? I have been spraying ammonia under it to keep neighborhood cats from using the soil under the plant as a sand box. If so, do you have any suggestions as to what...
view the full question and answer

Advocacy of non-native plants.
December 10, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Instead of asking a question, I would like to comment on the seemingly discouraging tone on growing plants or trees out of their native habitat that I have observed from rea...
view the full question and answer

Plants native to Caribbean from Charlotte NC
August 10, 2011 - Do you know of any shade tolerant plants native to the Caribbean that may be available to buy at a local nursery? I know this is a tough question to answer on many levels.. essentially, if I wanted t...
view the full question and answer

Scale on non-native Loropetalum in Lincoln, NE
February 26, 2010 - Hi,I have found lots of scale insects on my Loropetalum (esp the young leaves) and ended up spraying some white oil to get rid of them. Unfortunately, I might have overdone it and the young shoots are...
view the full question and answer

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