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

Sunday - April 30, 2006

From: Springfield, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Failure of fragrance in Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus) in Illinois
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a sweet shrub bush that I took from the root of another one. Every year it blooms but never has even a smidgen of fragrance. The bush it came from was very fragrant. Should I do something to the soil to make it more suitable. We live in Illinois. The bush came for one in Alabama. It's just full of blooms now, but no smell.

ANSWER:

Sweet shrub (Calycanthus floridus) is a fickle lady. Some plants are exceedingly fragrant while others have little or no fragrance at all. Apparently, weather conditions can affect fragrance, but I don't know what the mechanism is for that. If the root you took came from a highly fragrant plant, your plant should be highly fragrant as well. Morning and evening are the times of most intense fragrance. Apparently, the flowers' nectaries dry up upon pollination and fragrance quickly fades. So, if you have an abundance of pollinators, that could be the source of the problem. You can find a discussion about sweet shrub on Garden Web.
 

More Shrubs Questions

A 3-6 ft. high overwintering container plant
November 08, 2011 - I live in Austin, Tx. and am looking for a plant/shrub that I can keep in a ceramic pot through out the winter. It can grow to from 3 feet to six feel.
view the full question and answer

Privacy Hedge for Dripping Springs, TX
April 25, 2014 - We live in Dripping Springs, TX and are looking to find a suggestion for privacy hedges that are non-toxic to dogs, drought resistant, can handle rocky soil and full sun. We prefer flowering hedges. ...
view the full question and answer

Natural barrier for sheep in England
July 26, 2008 - Hi I am trying to find a plant that sheep will not eat to use as a natural barrier to keep sheep out of my R/C model flying clubs flying field.It will have to be a couple of feet tall and be a long li...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf evergreen shrub for windowboxes in Staten Island , NY
April 03, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Could you recommend a dwarf evergreen shrub, not deciduous that also has pretty flowers that would thrive in a container in the northeast...area would have sun for about 4 -5...
view the full question and answer

Native perennials for Donley County, TX
July 16, 2009 - What are the best perennials to plant in Donley County, TX?
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