Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
28 ratings

Saturday - April 23, 2011

From: Nashville, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany
Title: What happens when plant shoot apex is removed from Nashville TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

What happens to the plant when a shoot apex is removed?

ANSWER:

The shoot apex inhibits the lateral buds of the shoot through the production of indoleacetic acid (auxin), a phenomenon known as apical dominance. When the apex is removed or damaged, the lateral buds are released from inhibition due to reduced auxin levels, and they began to grow. This is the biology behind the practice of pinching out the tips of Chrysanthemums in order to get bushier plants, and pruning shrubs to encourage them to become hedges.

In case this is still a little murky, we searched on "pruning shoot apex" and found Basic Principles of Pruning Woody Plants

 

More General Botany Questions

Water-saving strategies of drought-tolerant plants
April 04, 2014 - Although "drought tolerant" plants are fairly well documented, it's clear that many different strategies are responsible, such as a huge root system (like Mesquite). I'm interested in learning the...
view the full question and answer

What do cedars do to cause cedar fever?
February 20, 2009 - What do the native cedars in Fate Tx do in the winter that causes allergies to get really bad that they have named it cedar fever
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Hypogon
March 22, 2005 - How many sides does a hypogon have?
view the full question and answer

Is Common Milkweed a Succulent?
March 31, 2015 - Is the common milkweed (butterfly plant) classified as a succulent?
view the full question and answer

Southern Live Oak Authority for Jackson MS
June 23, 2016 - Who are the foremost authorities on Southern Live Oaks? May need expert testimony to oppose cutting of 50 year-old live oaks in boulevard of Riverside Drive in Jackson, MS
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.