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
2 ratings

Friday - July 14, 2006

From: Calgary, AB
Region: Canada
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care of non-native lilac
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

How and when do we prune lilacs bushes ?

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are in plants native to North America. Common lilac or lilac bush (Syringa vulgaris) is a European native that has been naturalized in North America. We can, however, guide you to sources that will have the answers to your lilac bush care problems. According to The Gardener's Network, the most important thing about pruning your lilac is to do so as soon as it has finished blooming. and before its seeds have completely formed and set. This will encourage the plant to bloom heartily next year. Another reason to prune immediately after the trees has bloomed is that the flower buds for next year's flowers form early. If you wait too long after this year's blooming has finished, you risk the possibility of trimming off next year's buds. Your can read more about care of your lilac on the International Lilac Society webpage and on the Syringa Plus webpage.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Failure to thrive of non-native Buddleja davidii
June 30, 2008 - I love butterfly bushes - but have bad luck growing them. I now have several, including Butterfly Nanho Purple; and they constantly wilt. It has been a dry hot Austin summer, but should I water when...
view the full question and answer

Flowering landscape plants for Montgomery TX
March 07, 2013 - Hello I live in Montgomery TX. I am looking for low growing evergreen flowering plants for the front of my three deep beds. The first plant closest to the foundation is loropetalum, then I have a blue...
view the full question and answer

White specks on unknown houseplant from Ridgeway SC
June 20, 2013 - I have an unknown houseplant that seems to have some sort of pest or disease on it. It has white snowy specks atop its leaf. I bought this purple fuzzy leafed houseplant from Walmart in Winnsboro, SC ...
view the full question and answer

Removing St. Augustine, replacing with native plants
October 06, 2007 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, always excited to talk to the Green Guru himself. I've recently purchased a house in South Austin and am interested in establishing a small, 500+ sq ft, prairie grass and wi...
view the full question and answer

Planting location of non-native Japanese maple in Toronto
May 22, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty, I am in the region of Toronto, Canada. I just bought from nursery a "Red Select" Janpanese Maple, about 2' tall, still in its 1' pot. I intended to plant it in my front yard ...
view the full question and answer

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