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
1 rating

Friday - March 06, 2009

From: Richards, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: When should a redbud start blooming?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Does it take a couple or more years for a redbud tree to bloom? I had some in Houston when I lived there and it seems like it took a long time for them to bloom. I now live in Richards (Near Huntsville, Texas) and have two redbud trees now two years old and have not bloomed. What am I doing wrong?

ANSWER:

We don't think you're doing anything wrong, your Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) are probably just not mature enough yet to bloom. Producing flowers takes a tremendous amount of energy in a plant and, like humans, they need a certain amount of maturity before they become productive. We could find no research indicating an age at which they should be expected to bloom, so we're doing some guessing. The only suggestion we might make is that you not give the tree too much high nitrogen fertilizer, such as lawn fertilizer. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for all plants, but since the redbud is a legume, member of the Fabaceae family, it pretty much takes care of its own nitrogen needs. High nitrogen fertilizers are good for grass because they encourage lots of green leaves. If your trees are getting an extra dose of nitrogen, they will put all their energy into leaves and delay flowering. Our prescription is patience.


Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

 

 

More Trees Questions

Fast growing shade tree for Goldsboro NC
February 04, 2013 - What is a good tree to plant in Goldsboro North Carolina to provide shade and a fast growing tree?
view the full question and answer

What clips green twigs from cedar elms?
August 09, 2013 - Many small cuttings (3-5 inches long) are dropping from large cedar elm. To my eye the ends look like breaks (not chiseled), but I can't imagine what would cause so many breaks, and so think somethin...
view the full question and answer

Storm damage to native sweet bay magnolias in Kentucky
February 04, 2009 - Can you please share information on storm damage to sweet bay magnolias; if the top is broken off can the tree maintain its natural shape or will the sides begin to grow more than the top; i.e., growt...
view the full question and answer

Spacing for Dogwoods and Cotoneasters
February 21, 2016 - How close should Dogwoods and Cotoneasters be to bricks?
view the full question and answer

Are white pine trees toxic to horses?
May 31, 2009 - Are white pine trees toxic to horses?
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