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
1 rating

Sunday - June 14, 2009

From: sinking spring, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Non-blooming Hypericum in Eastern Pennsylvania
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

I purchased a St. Johnswort about 3 years ago. I has never bloomed. It is alive & well. I know this since it has started to spread shoots. Is there a trick to this one? Occasionally something I plant doesn't survive, but I have never had a plant survive & not bloom. Am I missing something?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to disseminating information about our native species and encouraging their use in their native habitats. Here is a link to our article on the reasons why natives make sense. Since St Johns Wort is a common name that covers many varieties, we can’t be positive about the precise species you are growing; Pennsylvania has sixteen native Hypericum (St. Johns Wort) varieties, with varying habitat and growth requirements. We can try to identify it if you send us a photo. If your plant is from a nursery it may be Hypericum ‘Hidcote’, a cultivar whose parents are of European origin and out of our area of expertise. Here is a link to a web page with background on Hypericum 'Hidcote'.

Some general causes for plants not to flower follow:

Too little sun; Hypericum can grow in shade, but flowers better in sunnier locations.

A variety not well-suited to your area; nurseries often get stock from far-away suppliers in different climates.

Improper fertilization; high nitrogen fertilizers can promote green over flowering growth.

Pruning at the wrong time; probably not the problem here, but some plants bloom on new growth, others on previous seasons' growth.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Backward blooming Jack-in-the-pulpit
April 18, 2008 - why does my jack in the pulpit plant bloom backwards
view the full question and answer

Pollinator friendly lawn for Longmont CO
July 06, 2015 - I have a sunny, treeless, South-facing yard, with a slight South-facing slope in Boulder County, CO. It has one patch of buffalo grass, but is more then half some other type of grass. I would like t...
view the full question and answer

Green blooms on Cedar Sage in Lucas TX
September 22, 2010 - I have two Cedar Sage (Salvia roemeriana) one purchased from your plant sale and one from a local nursery planted in part shade in the Dallas area. They seem to be quite happy and are blooming but ...
view the full question and answer

plants for a rain garden's moist area in Central Texas
January 15, 2015 - I am looking for local natives to plant in the wet portion of a rain garden/bioswale. Can you help, please?
view the full question and answer

Resurrection plant not reviving.
February 04, 2009 - I have what might be a resurrection plant but it never turns green. When it is watered it opens up and turns from tan to dark brown. Is it just a different variety of resurrection plant or something...
view the full question and answer

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