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?


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
1 rating

Friday - April 08, 2011

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Is a Mexican plum planted last Spring in Houston ready to bloom
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live in Houston, TX. I bought my Mexican Plum last late Spring. It was about 4' tall. It is now about 6' tall, very healthy with lots of beautiful leaves. It gets a lot of sun. It did not blossom this Spring. I have not changed anything. It gets no lawn fertilizer. Are there male/female trees, one of which will not blossom? I'm sick I will not have plums for my birds. Thank you.


If you bought your  Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum) late last Spring, it has spent the time since adjusting to its new surroundings. Plants have blooming in their Prime Directives; they must bloom in order to fruit, set seed and reproduce more of themselves. It sounds like your tree has come through without transplant shock, which often happens if a woody plant is planted badly or when it is too hot, so you're doing everything right. The Mexican Plum grows to be 15 to 35 ft. in height, which means your little tree is still hardly an adolescent. Give it a couple more years to grow up, and don't forget to make sure it is getting adequate moisture. A new young tree like that should be watered by pushing the hose down in the dirt around the tree and letting it dribble slowly until water comes to the surface. In the hot weather this should be done at least every week. We believe that all you have left to do is be patient.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


From the Image Gallery

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

More Trees Questions

Pruning of Bauhinia lunarioides
May 29, 2008 - I have a Bauhinia variegata..when is the best time to prune it? it tends to grow horizontally..where do you clip off the limbs?
view the full question and answer

Soapberry; monoecious or dioecious?
May 26, 2009 - I have a soapberry (Sapindus saponaria L., I believe) tree growing in my yard. I planted it 3 years ago hoping for soapberries, but have not seen any yet. It has flowered each spring, but has not set ...
view the full question and answer

Fruit trees for Buckeye AZ
May 16, 2010 - I am moving to Buckeye Az from Utah and would like to know what type of fruit trees I can grow. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Disease of eastern red cedars (Juniperus virginiana)
August 01, 2010 - I have multiple Eastern Red Cedars spaced in my woods which are sick and dying. Some were transplanted years ago, others are volunteers, all are less than 4 ft tall. The foliage turns brown in vario...
view the full question and answer

Pinus taeda (Loblolly pines) for a property in Van Zandt County, Texas
March 17, 2015 - I want to initiate a stand of loblolly pine trees on our property in Van Zandt County in NE Texas. Assuming the ph factor is within range, how do I obtain seedings for this endeavor? Any other advic...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center