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

Tuesday - March 25, 2008

From: Philadelphia, PA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Propagation of non-native tulips in pots
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have received a large quantity of eco-cups, some are for our pilot project, First Bloom. But we so many, we wanted to include the entire Club, Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, Germantown Unit, pre-school, school-age and the teens, in planting mothers' day plants. Can tulips grow this fast,inside the Club, before May 10?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America. Unfortunately, the tulip is not native, and therefore somewhat out of our range of experience. Not only that, tulips are pretty hard to grow in Texas, it just doesn't get cold enough for the bulbs, and most of us don't have room in our refrigerators for a bunch of bulbs. We did look at a couple of websites, including this one from Floridata, and this one from Wikipedia, from which you may be able to get more information. Just at a quick glance, we can tell you it is not possible to sprout those bulbs to flowers in that short a time. Most of the propagation advice is that they be planted in Fall, to bloom in the Spring. Obviously, the tulips you buy for Mother's Day are hothouse grown, and expensive. One mention of propagating tulips said that you could plant the small offshoot bulbs from a larger bulb, but that it would take two or three years for it to bloom. We hope you find something else to plant; it's a lovely idea for Mother's Day.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Differences between Desmodium and Lespedezda
June 19, 2014 - i am trying to determine the difference between lespedeza and desmodium in my full sun wildflower and tall grasses meadow. There appear to be a number of different types of these plants, and they are...
view the full question and answer

Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014 - At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
view the full question and answer

Citrus trees for Austin
May 21, 2008 - I am looking for citrus that grows in the Austin,Tx area. Could you offer any suggestions please?
view the full question and answer

Non-native genista racemosa from Leander TX
March 28, 2012 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants. I fear I've made a horrible purchase at a local plant place. Bought a "broom" plant--it's not listed in your database. Latin name: genista racemosa, according to tag. ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers to choke out invasive species in Virginia
June 08, 2015 - My yard has open woods and dappled light with clay soil. Thirty years ago we removed huge briars and since English Ivy was getting in by itself, we thought we would let it come; unfortunately, it not ...
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