Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
2 ratings

Wednesday - October 07, 2009

From: Cedar Park, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native gardenia in Cedar Park, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My gardenia, which is planted in a large pot, drops the buds before they bloom. What do I need to do. I already fertilize it with gardenia food.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which it is grown. The only gardenia in our Native Plant Database is Gardenia taitensis (Tahitian gardenia), native to Hawaii. We found a website from lovetoknow Gardenia Plant Care that might help you out. However, we noticed right away at least a couple of reasons why your plant is not flourishing. In the first place, gardenias, native to China and Japan, need to be in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 10. Williamson County is in Zone 8, so survival of the plant outside would be marginal. Second, the gardenia requires very acid soil, and Central Texas soils are very alkaline, as in very non-acid. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Gardenia taitensis

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native Chocolate Mimosa from Dallas
June 15, 2011 - I have a Chocolate Mimosa I planted last spring. It came back strong this spring but suddenly the leafs have started turning brown and falling off, it gets watered every morning and I don't have a c...
view the full question and answer

Bulb identification
December 10, 2009 - My pinecone ginger (Zingiber zerumbet), my white ginger (Hedychium coronarium) and my cana lilly roots were all accidently put in the same box and now I can't tell which is which. Is there some sort ...
view the full question and answer

Plants that will survive in Mammoth Lake, CA
June 25, 2009 - What fruit trees survive the Mammoth Lakes winter? What roses will grow in Mammoth? Please give me a list of all trees that grow in Crowley and Mammoth lakes?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native parsley from Brooklyn NY
June 17, 2012 - Had beautiful flat leaf parsley plants recently turn yellow & die. Found black armadillo like bugs bored throughout the roots. Now they're spreading. How do I kill them without contaminating the pla...
view the full question and answer

When to plant non-native red-tip photinia
November 17, 2011 - When do you plant the Red-Tip Photinia Flowering Shrubs in Roanoke VA?
view the full question and answer

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