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

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

Growing a non-native lemon tree in Central Illinois
August 03, 2009 - How to grow a lemon tree in Central Illinois? Which one would be the best to grow?
view the full question and answer

Trimming spineless yucca in Chicago
April 05, 2011 - I have a spineless yucca (indoors) which is 11 feet tall and thirty-five years old. When the yucca recently started to scrape the ceiling, I moved it away (roughly 20 feet) from the windows to an area...
view the full question and answer

Why is my Weeping Fig crying leaves?
July 27, 2009 - I have a weeping fig that I bought Memorial day in Birmingham, Al. It has 8 or 9 trunks growing altogether. It sits on a porch with eastern exposure, only about 2 hours of sun. It has been losing l...
view the full question and answer

Difference beteen two non-native photinias from Nashville TN
June 07, 2013 - What is the difference between red tip phontinias and fireball phontinias. I read that fireballs are also called red tips but I thought that red tips grow to like 12 ft. and the tag on the fireball I...
view the full question and answer

Bringing Non-native Cannas out of Winter Storage
February 15, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants - Is it possible to force canna tubers? Would placing them on a heating pad help? I am in Ohio - zone 5. Thank you
view the full question and answer

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