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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - September 28, 2006

From: Austin , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Excessive nitrogen inhibiting coreopsis blooms
Answered by: Joe Marcus


I planted coreopsis in the summer last year and they bloomed profusely nonstop from June 2005 to April 2006. However, this past summer, continuing to present time, my coreopsis have not bloomed at all nor do they show signs of incoming bloom. These coreopsis are in my Austin home. Please advise! I also planted the same coreopsis in my other house in Ponca City Oklahoma. They just started showing a few blooms. It seems like thay are more foliage than blooms. Please advise!


The description you give for your coreopsis plants makes us think that they are getting too much nitrogen. High soil fertility will result in lots of plant and foliage growth, but suppress flowering. If you've been feeding your coreopsis it would be a good idea to stop, or at least decrease the amount of nitrogen in the fertilizer. Some natural fertilizers, especially manure-based ones are especially high in nitrogen. Plants receiving too much nitrogen will typically have very dark green, leathery foliage.

More Wildflowers Questions

Planting wildflowers from Wichita Falls, TX
August 24, 2013 - Hi, Thanks so much for the answers you give! You've been very helpful to me in the past. I have two quick questions: 1) I have been harvesting seeds from my wildflowers. I wonder when the best time...
view the full question and answer

Can bluebonnets be made into jelly from Ennis TX
May 07, 2013 - Are Texas bluebonnet flowers okay for human consumption? I have seen recipes for wild violet jelly,so was wondering about making bluebonnet jelly from the bluebonnet blossoms if they are not poisonous...
view the full question and answer

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Planning a park along a railroad track in Williamston, SC
May 14, 2008 - We have a railroad track in Williamston, and we are cleaning up the park. Removing trees, planting flowers,shrubs. The track is on high ground and the Fire Dept. has burnt off the weeds. What kind of...
view the full question and answer

Tidying up Copper Canyon Daisies in San Antonio
March 30, 2010 - We have a small bed with 4 copper canyon daisies. We cut them back in the fall but have not pruned them during growing season; as a result they become a big tangle by September. Should they be pruned ...
view the full question and answer

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