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

Friday - October 09, 2009

From: Conroe, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Non-blooming climbing rose in Conroe, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a climbing rose and it has never bloomed and has no thorns, it was a cutting from another rose bush. I have given it water and fertilize and have mulch around it also.

ANSWER:

The first thing we think of when a plant is not blooming well is that it is getting too much fertilizer, especially too much high nitrogen fertilizer, such as lawn fertilizers. The high nitrogen encourages lots of green leaves, which you want in grasses, but not blooms. If it was a cutting and has not been in the ground long, it simply may not have developed to sufficient maturity to bloom quite yet. The last possibility is that it is not getting enough sun. Roses, whether they are native or non-native, require full sun, which we regard as 6 or more hours of sun a day.

Since we are already at the end of the blooming season for  most roses, we suggest you stop fertilizing, perhaps do a little pruning of dead ends or spindly stems. Then, in January or February, prune it back hard, again taking out any dead wood and leaving the living stems no more than 12 to 18 inches tall. If it is not getting sufficient sun, that would be a good time to transplant it, when the plant is semi-dormant. And still don't fertilize, as a transplanted plant is under stress and you should never fertilize a stressed plant. You can certainly amend the soil where the rose is being transplanted, adding compost or other organic material for good drainage, permitting the roots to get their water and nutrients from the soil. 

 

More Transplants Questions

Dwarf golden cypress outgrowing their space
December 28, 2008 - I planted two dwarf golden cypress on opposite sides of a dwarf alberta spruce in a small bed by the front door. After 4 years I have to severely prune back the dwarf cypress in spring as they will sp...
view the full question and answer

Moving a red oak away from the house foundation
January 24, 2008 - About a 3 weeks ago I noticed a 5 ft. red oak growing in my flower bed. I hadn't noticed it growing up through my shrubs until the leaves turned bright red. The problem is that its coming up about tw...
view the full question and answer

Varieties of Ceanothus suitable for Illinois
September 07, 2012 - Ceanothus Velutinus is the smell of western Montana, my home, to me, and I have relocated to Illinois. I miss it so much that whenever I go home I bring back a jar of ceanothis leaves and keep th...
view the full question and answer

Dividing blackeyed susans in Lake Ronkoko NY
July 06, 2009 - How are you supposed to divide blackeyed susan's? And when is the best time to do this?
view the full question and answer

Moving a volunteer holly from Springfield IL
October 11, 2010 - When would be the very best time to move a volunteer holly? I would say it is 3 years old, it stands about 5 feet tall, shaped like a very nice tree and it keeps its leaves. Thank you. Karen
view the full question and answer

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