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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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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

 

 

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