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 General Botany Questions

Dyes from native North American plants
November 29, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have been working as a textile designer for many years and am now interested in harvesting native North American plants in order to create natural dyes. Which plant ...
view the full question and answer

Have invasive plants no useful purpose from Anchorage AK
September 03, 2011 - Does the definition of invasive plants include that the plant has no useful purpose? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Difference between Convallaria majalis and Convallaria majuscula
May 17, 2012 - How do you tell the difference in the native convallaria from the European species?
view the full question and answer

Effect of epsom salts and gray water on plants
December 04, 2007 - We live in Phoenix where water is a precious commodity. We have decided to use as much of the gray water as we can for watering our garden, shrubs and trees. One of the suggestions we heard about w...
view the full question and answer

Is it safe to eat vegetables grown in the same bed as foxgloves?
August 12, 2012 - I have foxglove in my flower beds and have planted tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and cantaloupe in the flower bed and now I am concerned about the shared root system. Also, my tomatoes are touching the...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center