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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - July 18, 2009

From: Plymouth, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Failure to bloom of non-native lilac in Plymouth MD
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My five year old lilacs are not blooming, WHY?

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are in plants native to North America. Common lilac or lilac bush (Syringa vulgaris) is a European native that has been naturalized in North America. It only blooms for about two weeks, early in the Spring, and then it's through for the year. We can guide you to sources that will have the answers to your lilac bush care problems. According to The Gardener's Network, the most important thing about pruning your lilac is to do so as soon as it has finished blooming. and before its seeds have completely formed and set. This will encourage the plant to bloom heartily next year. Another reason to prune immediately after the tree has bloomed is that the flower buds for next year's flowers form early. If you wait too long after this year's blooming has finished, you risk the possibility of trimming off next year's buds. Your can read more about care of your lilac on the International Lilac Society webpage and on the Syringa Plus webpage.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native invasive Chocolate Mimosa in Gulfport MS
May 18, 2011 - Another Mimosa Question: I have a newly planted chocolate mimosa; it has a single, 7 ft spindly trunk with approximately a 3 ft canopy. I'm afraid that its girth will not withstand much in terms of...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Leggy Santolina
January 30, 2016 - We are members of the society and have loved your section offering advice. We have green santolina that is becoming quite leggy. I would like to prune them to get them more compact come spring and sum...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Ixora
April 22, 2009 - I have 3 Ixoras I planted last summer and they did beautifully -- then Ike visted us. All the other plants in that garden have recovered and look beautiful, but the ixoras still look ill. No new gro...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Meyer lemon problems in Dripping Springs, TX.
July 02, 2014 - I have a Meyer lemon that looks very sick. The leaves, limbs, and fruit all have brownish gold raised spots that are the size of a pin head. The spots on the leaves seem to run along the center of t...
view the full question and answer

Common name of non-native Senna corymbosa (Argentine senna)
July 16, 2011 - I just had a plant identified as Senna corymbosa. Can you tell me whether it's a Texas native and what its common name is? Thanks.
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