En Español

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
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 According to the USDA Plant Profile, it grows mostly in the Florida Panhandle, but these profiles are often out of date and we feel sure your plant will do well in Citrus County.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:


Solidago rugosa


Solidago rugosa

 






 

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Pruning tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
June 05, 2009 - Thank you for your answer regarding when my tulip tree will flower. I also understand it can/will grow to over 100 feet so should we be pruning it a certain way to keep it contained? thank you
view the full question and answer

Climbing options for a Coral honeysuckle in Austin Texas
April 16, 2013 - Regarding Coral honeysuckle, what is the best support to encourage continued spread, chicken-wire/fencing? Currently the plants and vines are on fencing and beginning to fold over. I'd like to add...
view the full question and answer

Controlling pumpkin vine in British Columbia
July 15, 2008 - I have never grown pumpkins before but decided to try one plant this year. It seems to be taking over my small garden space. Can I prune it back? I only want one or two pumpkins for my grandchildre...
view the full question and answer

Freeze-back of Hamelia patens in winter in Texas
October 03, 2008 - Will the hamelia patens freeze back in the winter ?
view the full question and answer

Arrows and Hunting Dogs in Kentucky
December 09, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants--Is it normal for our arrowwood viburnum to give off a musky odour in the late fall? The smell reminds me of a wet hunting dog.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center