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

Smarty Plants on aceae
March 21, 2005 - How is the family suffix "-aceae", as in Asteraceae, pronounced? I find disagreeing claims in my searches- "ay-see-ee" and "ay-see-ay" seem to be the most common, but I've also seen just "ay-...
view the full question and answer

Comments on white-flowered Mountain Laurel from Austin
December 23, 2012 - Following up on the August 23, 2012, question from Driftwood about the white-flowering mountain laurel, I have found a few more leads to explore. First, there are four more images of white-flowering m...
view the full question and answer

Define monoculture from St. Croix Falls, WI
May 30, 2014 - What do you call a dense stand or carpet of one species of wildflower? Our botany professor told us but that was 40 years ago!
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on cell elongation
June 09, 2005 - Why do plants grow faster in the dark?
view the full question and answer

Use of native non-vascular plants from Pisgah Forest NC
February 11, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Some of the smartest native plants around to use as horticultural choices don't require any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides; tolerate extreme weather including ...
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