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
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

How to use seaweed for mulch and fertilizer
September 24, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants,I live on the Peconic Bay, Greenport, Long Island. We have an oyster farm and lots of seaweed. I've read that seaweed was used on farms in the past as mulch (fertilizer?). ...
view the full question and answer

Re-landscaping in Stephenville, TX.
November 17, 2012 - I prefer native plants. We are re-landsacaping, so I need grass, ground cover, vines and flowers to plant in our back yard. We have many trees and the whole yard is shady. A small area might be con...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Groundcover for lower Michigan
June 24, 2012 - What ground cover is deer resistant for a sunny location in lower Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Want a ground cover instead of St. Augustine to fill in gaps in stone pathway.
November 19, 2012 - I'm considering using Silver Ponyfoot (instead of St. Augustine) to fill in the 6" gaps between my 24"x24" cut limestone blocks footpath and patio. Do they run long that may cover the blocks, whi...
view the full question and answer

What to do about bastard cabbage in the Austin area?
May 08, 2015 - I am noticing bastard cabbage taking over roadsides and medians at an alarming rate where a mixture of native flowers used to bloom. Is it allowable to organize efforts to pull the invasive plants ou...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center