Contact Us Host an Event 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
1 rating

Sunday - June 14, 2009

From: sinking spring, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Non-blooming Hypericum in Eastern Pennsylvania
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

I purchased a St. Johnswort about 3 years ago. I has never bloomed. It is alive & well. I know this since it has started to spread shoots. Is there a trick to this one? Occasionally something I plant doesn't survive, but I have never had a plant survive & not bloom. Am I missing something?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to disseminating information about our native species and encouraging their use in their native habitats. Here is a link to our article on the reasons why natives make sense. Since St Johns Wort is a common name that covers many varieties, we can’t be positive about the precise species you are growing; Pennsylvania has sixteen native Hypericum (St. Johns Wort) varieties, with varying habitat and growth requirements. We can try to identify it if you send us a photo. If your plant is from a nursery it may be Hypericum ‘Hidcote’, a cultivar whose parents are of European origin and out of our area of expertise. Here is a link to a web page with background on Hypericum 'Hidcote'.

Some general causes for plants not to flower follow:

Too little sun; Hypericum can grow in shade, but flowers better in sunnier locations.

A variety not well-suited to your area; nurseries often get stock from far-away suppliers in different climates.

Improper fertilization; high nitrogen fertilizers can promote green over flowering growth.

Pruning at the wrong time; probably not the problem here, but some plants bloom on new growth, others on previous seasons' growth.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Native plants for gravesite in North Central Massachusetts
May 18, 2008 - I live in North Central Mass. Would like to plant something on my parents gravesite that would not be invasive or require a lot of care. Any suggestions? I just took 2 shrubs out that had become way...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping in Bertram TX
September 25, 2009 - I have a landscaping job in Bertram, Texas and am looking for all my options as far as full and partial shade somewhat hardy plants. I'm mainly looking for small plants and pretty flowers I can do wi...
view the full question and answer

Plants for under a fountain splash line in California
January 29, 2009 - What plants should we plant under our fountain's splash line in our Mediterranean style courtyard? The area will get wet from the fountain's splashing and have "full" sun. We are on a rock ridge...
view the full question and answer

Pictures and information on Scutellaris laterifolia, Blue Skullcap
June 19, 2006 - I am trying to find information on Scutellaria laterifolia (skullcap), of the plant family "labiatea". Do you have any info or pictures? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Problems with Purple Heart in Raleigh, NC
December 24, 2014 - I was hoping you could help me with an indoor/outdoor houseplant issue. I have a purple heart, that lives outside in the summers and indoors in the winters. I brought it in a few weeks ago and am no...
view the full question and answer

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