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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Saturday - March 17, 2012

From: Fairfield, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Non-native Indian Hawthorn not flowering in Fairfield, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My indian hawthorn shrubs won't flower, they are the white variety and I live in Freestone County, Texas, greenery is beautiful and very healthy plants but no flowers Have had the plants for over two years.

ANSWER:

Since Raphiolepsis indica (Indian Hawthorne) is native to southern China, we do not have information on it in our Native Plant Database. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants grow naturally. We find that native plants are more likely to be able to withstand extremes in weather, requiring less water and fertilizer.

This article from Floridata has some good information on growing the plant. From that and other publications we have picked up the information that, while it will grow in sun or part shade, it blooms better in full sun, as do many plants. Also, avoid overfertilizing blooming plants, especially with high-nitrogen fertilizers, as they encocurage heavy leaf production, which is good for grass, bad for blooming plants. As the plant devotes more energy to making leaves, there is less energy left for blooming. Also, we understand this plant, a member of the Rosacea (Rose) family can be subject to various forms of Fire Blight and other problems caused by extra humidity. Avoid overhead watering.

 

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