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?

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
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

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

Caring for non-native African violet
September 05, 2006 - How do you care for the African violet?
view the full question and answer

Doodlebugs in dead area of Coral Bean from Houston
April 10, 2013 - I have a Firemans coralbean tree about 5 years old. I discovered yesterday in the middle of the tree there is some deadwood where we have pruned out branches. A couple of the branches were filled with...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a tree in Florida with bell-shaped red flowers
November 23, 2012 - A friend in Florida has asked about identification of a tree with a flower none of us have ever seen. It starts with a green pod, then flowers into, what looks to me like a Chinese lantern, or bell. I...
view the full question and answer

Plants for oak shade from Whitney TX
December 24, 2012 - I live in Whitney, Texas and have a number of beautiful Live Oak trees in a portion of my yard providing deep shade. Asian Jasmine grows in about 5 ft circle around them and then nothing! I have walk ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native mandevilla in Southport NC
July 11, 2009 - I have planted a mandevilla and the leaves look healthy. It produces buds, but something is cutting them off. Right next to it is a mandevilla that is blooming profusely. Any ideas?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center