Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Sunday - September 19, 2010

From: Lecanto, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Goldenrod not blooming in Lecanto FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My goldenrod(fireworks) grows only like a groundcover(3" tall) and does not flower. It is in full sun in my garden in Lecanto, Florida(zone 9A). What could be wrong? Thank you.

ANSWER:

There are 60 members of the genus Solidago, 18 of which are native to Florida. The name 'Fireworks" is apparently a trade name for Solidago rugosa (Rough-leaved goldenrod). According to the USDA Plant Profile, it grows mostly in the Florida Panhandle, but these profiles are often out of date and we feel sure your plant will do well in Citrus County.

From the page on this plant in our Native Plant Database, we first learned that it blooms in September, grows 3 to 6 ft., and likes well-drained soils and sun. Then, in this Connecticut Botanical Society website, we found a picture of it as a ground cover, and the information that it grows from July to October.

So, we're scratching our heads. There are some sub-species that might grow slightly differently, but it is more likely that you have a plant that was bred by selecting shorter versions of the plant. Also, if it blooms in July to October in Connecticut, pehaps it is still too warm in Florida. Or, if you have been using high-nitrogen lawn-type fertilizer on your flower beds, that frequently encourages more leaves and discourages flowering.

Unless you are observing chewed leaves or small insects on the plant, we believe it is doing okay. If it does begin to bloom, begin to prune off the older blooms to encourage more blooming for the late Fall migrating butterflies.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


 






 

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Young oak damaged by falling tree from San Diego TX
June 27, 2012 - My neighbor's Palo Blanco tree was struck by lightning and fell over our fence and on to a young oak tree in our yard. We waited a few days to see if the neighbor would offer help, but he never did,...
view the full question and answer

What is a lawn broom from Cibolo TX
February 15, 2013 - Concerning gulf muhly grass you mention using a lawn broom to get rid of the dead stalks. What is a lawn broom? What does it look like? Where can I purchase one?
view the full question and answer

Trimming of penstemon after bloooming from Austin
April 30, 2012 - I planted a penstemon in my backyard last fall and it's doing great. Once the flowers have bloomed, do I cut the stalk back? It is about 2 ft tall and doesn't appear to be doing anything. I belie...
view the full question and answer

Pruning the leaves of Sago Palm.
March 10, 2010 - Is it a cardinal sin to remove all the sago palm branches? This winter they were so badly scorched by the cold that hardly a frond went unaffected. So I cut them all off as I needed to get around the...
view the full question and answer

Live oaks lifting up sidewalks in Palm Coast FL
December 12, 2013 - My live oak trees roots are lifting up my side walks. Can I cut just the roots that are causing the problem without hurting the trees? Thank you.
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.