Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
3 ratings

Friday - March 06, 2009

From: Richards, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: When should a redbud start blooming?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Does it take a couple or more years for a redbud tree to bloom? I had some in Houston when I lived there and it seems like it took a long time for them to bloom. I now live in Richards (Near Huntsville, Texas) and have two redbud trees now two years old and have not bloomed. What am I doing wrong?

ANSWER:

We don't think you're doing anything wrong, your Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) are probably just not mature enough yet to bloom. Producing flowers takes a tremendous amount of energy in a plant and, like humans, they need a certain amount of maturity before they become productive. We could find no research indicating an age at which they should be expected to bloom, so we're doing some guessing. The only suggestion we might make is that you not give the tree too much high nitrogen fertilizer, such as lawn fertilizer. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for all plants, but since the redbud is a legume, member of the Fabaceae family, it pretty much takes care of its own nitrogen needs. High nitrogen fertilizers are good for grass because they encourage lots of green leaves. If your trees are getting an extra dose of nitrogen, they will put all their energy into leaves and delay flowering. Our prescription is patience.


Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

 

 

More Trees Questions

Sticky white substance from Arizona Ash tree in Arlington TX
June 11, 2009 - Our Arizona Ash Tree is producing a white substance that floats down from the tree almost like a snowflake the size of a bb. You cannot see it on the tree/leaves. When it lands on the car, it takes th...
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

Bark splitting in old tulip tree in Red Creek, NY.
May 18, 2013 - Hello, We have a tulip tree that has some bark splitting I guess I would call it. The tree is older and very tall. On the north side of it starting at the bottom of the trunk to about 8-9 feet up i...
view the full question and answer

Plants wilting too quickly in Toledo OH
May 27, 2012 - The garden I have had recent issues with plants wilting all too quickly. I would like to know what types of plants would be hearty for the climate in Toledo, Ohio. I have a partly sunny front yard and...
view the full question and answer

Clipping of beans from newly planted Tecoma stans
April 22, 2008 - I purchased a Esperanza Plant in a pot from a nursery in April of 2008. We planted it and it is doing fine, but came with blooms and beans. Do I need to do clip or prune the beans at this stage of g...
view the full question and answer

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