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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - March 24, 2010

From: San Marcos , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Planting, Trees
Title: Why is my 3 year old Redbud not flowering in San Marcos, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My Cercis canadensis var. mexicana, purchased at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, is 3 years old, very robust, but has never bloomed. Any explanation?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that a three year old, robust red bud is old enough to flower, so lets look elsewhere for an explanation. Two factors that can influence flowering are sunlight and fertilizer. Is it getting enough sunlight? The light for requirement for Cercis canadensis var. mexicana (Mexican redbud) calls for full sun to partial shade. The more sun, the better the flowering (at least 6 hours per day).

Flowering is aslo affected by the nutrient balance in the soil; particularly the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus (the N/P ratio). If the N/P ratio gets too high, flowering can be inhibited. This can happen if your tree is receiving too much regular lawn fertilizer (which is generally higher in nitrogen). The pH of the soil can affect the availability certain nutrients.

This link from Colorado State University Extension provides good information about phosphorus fertilizerrs.

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

When to transplant volunteer Cedar Elms in Cedar Park, TX?
October 11, 2012 - We have a number of volunteer cedar elms we would like to transplant. When is the best time to do this? Should they be potted first and later transplanted or transplanted immediately? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Growing live oaks from acorns
January 25, 2010 - What is the best way to grow Live Oaks from acorns?
view the full question and answer

Native turf and trees for Odessa TX
July 29, 2013 - What native turf and trees can I grow in my Odessa, Tx back yard?
view the full question and answer

Wildlife and bird friendly hedgerow for Chicago suburb
November 30, 2013 - Want to plant a wildlife/bird friendly hedgerow in suburban Chicago. Looking for a recommended mix of understory trees as well a shrubs and grasses. Site is part shade with average to wet soil and tr...
view the full question and answer

Thoughts on non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
January 01, 2014 - I would like to know your thoughts on growing Italian Cypress trees in Austin Texas? We are looking to create a privacy screen(and prepared to pay more for mature trees to cut down the wait to grow...
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
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center