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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 18, 2013

From: Magnolia, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Pruning Ageratina havenensis from Magnolia TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted a Eupatorium havanense last year here in the last sandy finger of the piney woods; it gets full sun in a well-drained raised bed, where it flowered well. I pruned it fairly close, and it came through the mild winter without any extra watering. It has been putting out blooms, one or two branches at a time, since late February. Should I be pruning back the branches that have bloomed so as to guarantee enough new growth for it to bloom all over in the autumn, or should I be glad it bloomed at all?

ANSWER:

This plant appears in our Native Plant Database as Ageratina havanensis (Havana snakeroot); Eupatorium havanensis is an older name, now considered a synonym.  As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, it grows somewhat west of Montgomery County, and we are not sure the soils would be similar. However, if you are growing it, it must be okay there.

From our webpage on this plant:

"White mistflower provides late summer and early fall color. Blooms best and appears bushier if severely cut back each winter."

That keeps you from deciding whether to cut back the present blooms in hopes of more blooms later. It should continue to provide color until early Fall and then can be pruned back hard in November to January. Perhaps the extra blooming is the result of more rain and lusher soils in your part of the state.

 

From the Image Gallery


Shrubby boneset
Ageratina havanensis

Shrubby boneset
Ageratina havanensis

Shrubby boneset
Ageratina havanensis

More Shrubs Questions

Plantings for a slope from New Carrollton MD
June 27, 2012 - My house (Maryland, near DC) sits at the bottom of a south facing slope. The soil is very heavy clay. The grade is about 1:20 for about 100 feet (with a steeper part at the top). Part of the hill is i...
view the full question and answer

Flowering tree with non-invasive roots from Palos Verde CA
June 24, 2013 - Want a flowering tree with noninvasive roots for Palos Verdes, CA.
view the full question and answer

Irrigation of landscaping project after 1 year in San Antonio
November 10, 2010 - Hello, I am working on a project in San Antonio where the following vegetation types have been specified: cedar elm, bald cypress, 'Tifway 419' bermuda grass, mountain laurel, esperanza, and lantana...
view the full question and answer

Growing Dwarf Yaupon Holly in Texas
December 04, 2013 - We planted 10 extra dwarf yaupons in our Austin front yard. They were identified as 'Gremici' dwarf yaupon. I googled them to get more information about them in order to determine why five have di...
view the full question and answer

Shade-loving plants for birds in New Jersey
March 25, 2013 - What native plants should I add to my property, Zone 6, to feed birds naturally? I have a heavily treed lot, so I'd like names of shade loving perennials. Seed or fruit bearing options would be gre...
view the full question and answer

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