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

Newly planted anacacho leaf browning
October 15, 2007 - I have just put my anacacho orchid into the ground and its leaves are turning brown and falling off. Is that normal for this time of year, or have I shocked it? What can I do to ensure its health?
view the full question and answer

Dirt piled up around trunk of cypress tree in Lakeland FL
October 02, 2009 - I have a 30-40 foot cypress tree that has just started looking like it is dying..limbs on top are drooping badly. In April of this year we put probably 3 feet of dirt/clay around the bottom of it, wa...
view the full question and answer

Arborvitae and flower garden fighting for space in Seattle WA
May 22, 2010 - Hi, I put in dozens of Arbovitae, mature evergreen trees, 4 yrs ago for privacy. They are doing well, but I was surrounding a flower garden which now appears to be suffering due to the root system of ...
view the full question and answer

Fertilizing Newly Planted Trees
February 07, 2016 - Back in November, I planted 20 trees on rocky, caliche slopes around my house outside of Utopia, Texas. The trees were 45 gallon Monterrey Oaks and Texas Redbuds. I have also installed a drip irriga...
view the full question and answer

Cover oak roots with a pond from Round Rock TX
December 22, 2012 - Hello! I have looked for this answer. We have 2 huge old beautiful live oaks. One is very close to the patio and house, and the other is about 20 feet of the house. Thus, part of their root systems ar...
view the full question and answer

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