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

Friday - March 14, 2008

From: Santa barbara, CA
Region: California
Topic: Pruning
Title: Branching on plants
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr SmartyPlants, I would like to cause my cerus peruvinesus (sp?) to branch low to the ground and another plant to branch higher up..what causes branching & how can I duplicate this?

ANSWER:

Not even Google could find the plant by the name you gave us, but after playing around a little bit, we discovered Cereus peruvianus, sometimes called the "night-blooming cereus." This is an upright cactus plant, originating in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the promotion and propagation of plants native to North America; therefore, this plant (if it's the plant you're talking about) is somewhat out of our area of expertise. However, we did find a couple of websites that might help you out. The first one is Cereus Peruvianus-The Least and Best Known Cactus. The other website is a page of images of Cereus peruvianus.

Your second question, on branching and how to duplicate it, I'm afraid we're not going to be much help there, either. Are you talking about a woody shrub or tree? Another cactus? Generally, speaking, plants branch where they wish to, they can't be trained to put out a branch where one is wanted. What you can do is trim off unwanted branches to expose more trunk, at least on a woody plant. Since we didn't give you the information you wanted, here are two suggestions: (1) If, after looking at the pictures of the Cereus peruvianus, you don't feel that is the plant you are talking about, perhaps you could send us a picture and see if we can identify it. There are instructions for sending a digital picture in the lower right hand corner of the "Ask Mr. Smarty Plants" page. (2) If you have a specific type of plant you want to try to change or control the branching on, you might let us know what that is, and we'll see if we can find some help for you on that issue.

 

More Pruning Questions

Pruning Lyreleaf Sage from McAllen TX
April 14, 2013 - I planted a few Lyre Leaf Sage last year and they bloomed beautifully. I let them seed out and had a number of new plants show up this year. I have never cut the flower/seed stalks back and now that ...
view the full question and answer

Young oak damaged by falling tree from San Diego TX
June 27, 2012 - My neighbor's Palo Blanco tree was struck by lightning and fell over our fence and on to a young oak tree in our yard. We waited a few days to see if the neighbor would offer help, but he never did,...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of tree poppy from Livermore CA
May 29, 2013 - We have a Dendromecon rigida which has been in place for about 10 years and is doing fine. But the older growth gets dry, brown and crinkly, while the newer growth is bright and lush. I would like t...
view the full question and answer

Arrows and Hunting Dogs in Kentucky
December 09, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants--Is it normal for our arrowwood viburnum to give off a musky odour in the late fall? The smell reminds me of a wet hunting dog.
view the full question and answer

Damage from Hurricane Irene in Burgaw, NC
August 27, 2011 - We live in Burgaw, NC and have begun the clean up efforts of Hurricane Irene which has made a full grown crape myrtle lean to one side. Its a very large tree and it is not uprooted. Is there anyway ...
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