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
1 rating

Friday - October 09, 2009

From: Conroe, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Non-blooming climbing rose in Conroe, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a climbing rose and it has never bloomed and has no thorns, it was a cutting from another rose bush. I have given it water and fertilize and have mulch around it also.

ANSWER:

The first thing we think of when a plant is not blooming well is that it is getting too much fertilizer, especially too much high nitrogen fertilizer, such as lawn fertilizers. The high nitrogen encourages lots of green leaves, which you want in grasses, but not blooms. If it was a cutting and has not been in the ground long, it simply may not have developed to sufficient maturity to bloom quite yet. The last possibility is that it is not getting enough sun. Roses, whether they are native or non-native, require full sun, which we regard as 6 or more hours of sun a day.

Since we are already at the end of the blooming season for  most roses, we suggest you stop fertilizing, perhaps do a little pruning of dead ends or spindly stems. Then, in January or February, prune it back hard, again taking out any dead wood and leaving the living stems no more than 12 to 18 inches tall. If it is not getting sufficient sun, that would be a good time to transplant it, when the plant is semi-dormant. And still don't fertilize, as a transplanted plant is under stress and you should never fertilize a stressed plant. You can certainly amend the soil where the rose is being transplanted, adding compost or other organic material for good drainage, permitting the roots to get their water and nutrients from the soil. 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Fast-growing vine for cinder block wall in Albuquerque
July 26, 2010 - I live in Albuquerque, N.M. and have a cement/cinder block wall and was wondering if there is a vine I can plant which will be easy to grow, grow fast and cover my wall without any type of help like a...
view the full question and answer

Interaction of Habiturf and St. Augustine grasses from Willow City TX
April 16, 2012 - How does Habiturf and St. Augustine interact? Does one dominate the other? Can you plant them in close areas? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Lawn Maintenance in Colorado
March 20, 2010 - When do I begin to fertilize and water my grass in Colorado Springs? I am selling my house and want my lawn to look green?
view the full question and answer

Perennial blooming plants for Ashland MO
April 02, 2010 - I am beginning to create a flower bed in front of my house, I do not have a green thumb so I want to know what plants would come back yearly and I can plant now in Mid Missouri?
view the full question and answer

Shredded hardwood for mulch
December 07, 2007 - I intend to landscape a section of my new property. but want to wait until the cold weather has passed. I have pets that will be contained within a fenced-in area that has some wild grasses but also ...
view the full question and answer

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