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

Need plants to fill in spaces where wooden expansion joints were removed in a patio in Seguin, TX
July 11, 2015 - I have removed the rotted wood in the expansion joints in my patio. I would prefer replacing them with some sort of plant. The patio gets partial sunlight.
view the full question and answer

Pest Dug Up and Ate Hypoxis Corms
August 06, 2015 - After years of no problems, something recently dug up and ate all my Yellow star-grass corms. What is attracted to them and is there an organic way to prevent it?
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

Nativity of Salvia coccinea (scarlet sage)
September 14, 2011 - Is Salvia coccinea native to Florida? In wikipedia they say it is native to Mexico.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen plants with showy flowers for pots in Central Texas
January 14, 2009 - I'm looking for evergreen plants with showy flowers suitable for Central Texas. Plants need to do well in pots.. they will be planted in flower boxes in my very sunny porch. thanks!!!
view the full question and answer

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