En EspaÑol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Non-blooming blue-eyed grass in Northeast Maryland

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
1 rating

Saturday - May 02, 2009

From: North East, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Non-blooming blue-eyed grass in Northeast Maryland
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I purchased blue eyed grass(sisyrinchium angustifolium)It was in bloom when I planted it, but has never bloomed since. It looks healthy and gets full sun, but for at least 3 years or more, it has never bloomed. Please help...

ANSWER:

From our webpage on Sisyrinchium angustifolium (narrowleaf blue-eyed grass), we learned that it is NOT a grass, but rather a primitive iris, and member of the Iridaceae family. We also found out that this short-lived perennial will decline if allowed to dry out. Heavy mulch causes crown rot and rich, organic soils encourage rank, vegetative growth. Plants need to be divided at least every other year. It is native to Maryland and, while it likes semi-shaded conditions, it blooms better in the sun. What we never did learn was why it is not blooming for you. About the only suggestion we can make at this point is that you avoid fertilizing it, especially with high-nitrogen fertilizers, like you would use on a real grass. Honestly, it sounds like it does better when it's neglected a little bit, not in rich organic soils, not fertilized. Try a little benign neglect, and see if it doesn't get its act together. Plants all need to reproduce and to reproduce they must bloom and produce seeds. If life is too easy for your blue-eyed grass, it might just roll over and go back to sleep, forgetting to wake up and bloom. 


Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Sisyrinchium angustifolium

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Groundcover for Sunny Slope in CT
May 11, 2013 - I need a plant to use as groundcover and for erosion control on a sunny slope in southwestern Connecticut. Any suggestions other than juniper?
view the full question and answer

Pink wildflowers on DFW runways in April-June
October 10, 2013 - I fly thru DFW quite often and have noticed in April-June timeframe the runways are dotted with a light pink colored wildflower. Have asked the DFW Customer Service folks for the name, ones I've ask...
view the full question and answer

Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
June 23, 2012 - What North Texas evergreen — or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees — could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control with perennials for a shady Dallas bank
July 25, 2013 - Thank you for your help with turf or perennials on a shaded bank, 4000 sq ft, for the Dallas area that has good roots, grows in semi shade to shade, is on a steep bank so cannot mow, and flowers the l...
view the full question and answer

Native flowers for color year round
May 02, 2007 - I have the opportunity to recommend plants for a religious organization. They want YEAR ROUND color in some areas, much like how commercial sites use annual color. I would like to suggest native/ada...
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