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

Monday - July 12, 2010

From: West Monroe, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Fertilizer for non-native Althea in West Monroe LA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What type of fertilizer is best for Althea Bushes

ANSWER:

Hibiscus syriacus, Althea or Rose of Sharon, is native to China and Taiwan and therefore falls out of our range of expertise, which is plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. We found one reference to fertilizer which recommended a slow-release fertilizer for trees and shrubs in early Spring. Don't use fertilizers heavy in nitrogen, such as lawn fertilizers, as this encourages green leaves but not flowers. We also found references to this plant as invasive, seeding profusely and being difficult to control.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Dying non-native red tip photinias in Lexington NC
June 27, 2009 - Large Red Tip bushes, what can I do to keep them alive? I have a few and they are dying. What can I do to save them?
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native New Dawn rose in Fairfield CT
May 13, 2009 - Hi! Can you help me with blind shoots on a climbing rose, New Dawn? The sun is planted in the south side of the house and gets plenty of light. I have only lightly fertilized it twice a year last yea...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native privet in Austin
November 15, 2010 - My 2 privet shrubs/bushes facing the east in a shady area seem to be have less leaves and dead flowers, while across a walk way that 1 privet shrub/bush has lots of green leaves with lots of dying flo...
view the full question and answer

Alternatives for non-native, invasive Dianthus spp.
July 02, 2006 - We're landscaping our 1963 ranch house in Austin, and we're trying to balance low water and wildscape concerns. Being just across the street from Shoal Creek means we're staying away from anything ...
view the full question and answer

Support for non-native, invasive Nandina Domestica from San Antonio, TX
July 09, 2013 - I consider nandina domestica to be a perfect plant for San Antonio, but see that it is on the list of invasive plants for surrounding eco-areas. How should I respond regarding one of my favorite land...
view the full question and answer

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