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

Thursday - April 30, 2009

From: Dayton, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Failure to bloom of non-native viburnum in Dayton, Ohio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a 3 year old Marie's Doublefire Viburnum that has healthy, abundant foliage but never blooms. I do not prune it. What am I doing wrong? Thanks

ANSWER:

There are thirteen members of the Viburnum genus native to Ohio; yours is not one of them. There was even some disagreement on the common name of your shrub. Some authorities referred to it as Double FILE Viburnum and others to Double FIRE. However, in the Ohio State Pocket Gardener website, we learned that both refer to Viburnum plicatum tomentosum 'Mariesii."  This species is native to China and Japan, and has multiple hybrids. Both of these facts remove them from our area of expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown.

One of the things we learned from the Ohio State website was that viburnums are not reliably hardy to Zone 5. It's a little hard to tell from the USDA Zone Hardiness maps, but it looks like Montgomery County might be in Zone 5. We learned that the viburnum only blooms for 2 weeks in the spring, so maybe you missed it somehow. Some blooming plants need to get to a certain maturity to bloom; how long has your viburnum been in the ground? Another fact is that viburnums prefer full sun to partial shade, bloom better in full sun, and like moist, well-drained acidic soils. We really only have two suggestions: 1. You definitely should be pruning the plant every year, right after blooming. It doesn't need to be drastic pruning, but pruning away the branches that have had blooms will hopefully encourage more blooms. 2. Watch it on the fertilizer. Too much fertilizer, especially nitrogen-rich lawn fertilizer, will discourage blooms. All plants need to bloom to reproduce-if they are getting too much fertilizer, lots of nitrogen, they will get lazy and not bother to bloom.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Care of non-native Betula pendula 'Youngii' (Young's Weeping Birch)
June 04, 2009 - We planted a Young's Weeping Birch on the side of our house here in NJ a few weeks ago and it seems to be thriving. When we purchased Fred (which is what we've named our youngster), he was in a pot ...
view the full question and answer

Leaf problems on non-native Pachira aquatica
January 31, 2009 - I have a Pachira Aquatica. I have had it for 6 months and it has been thriving and growing very tall with nice leaves. Lately some of the leaves have become mottled yellowish green and fallen off. Ca...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of contaminants leaching from asphalt driveway to adjacent vegetable garden in Tucson
April 13, 2011 - We have planted a vegetable garden next to a driveway. The driveway has recently (within the last 2 years) been covered with asphalt. My concern is that the oil may leach into my vegetables. Is thi...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native avocado outside from Austin
December 27, 2012 - My son has a very large avocado tree that he rooted from a pit that is currently growing in a large container. However, it has gotten too big to winter inside. Can it be planted in the ground in Aust...
view the full question and answer

Planting a non-native rose on oak tree in Hutto TX
April 07, 2011 - I would like to consider planting an earth-kind climbing rose on the south side of my 12 ft oak tree. Is this a good idea? Will I create problems?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center