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

Saturday - August 02, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Failure to bloom of Tecoma stans in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We Planted a Yellow Esperanza shrub 2 years ago that was blooming when we purchased it. It bloomed very little last year and not at all this year. It looks very healthy and each year gets about 10 feet tall. It has very green leaves and when we prune it it develops 2 branches for every one we cut. How do we make this plant bloom?

ANSWER:

Please see our previous answer on the same subject, also in Central Texas. Your problem is likely not transplant shock; however, the plant is probably still developing roots and getting the energy to bloom. If you are fertilizing it, especially with a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer like you would use on grass, stop. Most perennial plants need a few years of maturity before they are ready to bloom in earnest. Often, plant producers will force blooms on a plant to make it more saleworthy, but that doesn't mean it is ready to bloom on its own. Do check the drainage around the roots of your plant, although that doesn't sound like the problem. A little more patience and a little less fertilizer and we believe it will rise to bloom again.

 

More Shrubs Questions

How to deal with suckers on Flame-leaf Sumac
May 20, 2013 - Hi! It seems you can have too much of a good thing! Our flameleaf sumac is taking over our yard. There are multiple shoots appearing in our flower beds and in the lawn. How do I get rid of the unwante...
view the full question and answer

Need help with my Mountain Laurel in Sugarland, TX
June 22, 2011 - Texas Mountain Laurel - My plant's leaves are turning yellow and falling off. I don't know if this is caused from over watering or under watering. I have skipped days of watering to see if it will h...
view the full question and answer

Does Wax Myrtle Have a Taproot?
March 25, 2015 - Does a wax myrtle have a taproot?
view the full question and answer

Pruning Wax Myrtle trees & bushes
February 28, 2016 - When is the best time of year to prune Wax Myrtle trees & bushes.
view the full question and answer

Small shrubs for flower bed in Denton, Texas
September 16, 2009 - I have a small flowerbed that faces south on the front of my house. What small shrubs would be best in that situation?
view the full question and answer

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