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

Non-native tomato plant in Austin
August 30, 2010 - I have an upside-down tomato plant, started on July 4. For several weeks there have been 7 green tomatoes, with no further growth or ripening,despite daily watering. Am I doing something wrong?
view the full question and answer

Prairie remnant threatened by non-native Queen Anne's lace in Dallas
June 09, 2010 - A blackland prairie remnant is being invaded by Queen Ann's Lace. What are the best, least chemical, methods of getting rid of it without damaging the native grasses and wildflowers? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native Shasta daisies
July 10, 2014 - Our Shasta Daisy has bloomed quite prolifically this year. I don't know what to do with the spent blooms/stalks. Do I trim them down, save the seeds, plant the seeds? Any help is appreciated. Thank y...
view the full question and answer

Are Royal Poinciana and Royal Empress trees the same?
October 09, 2015 - Hi, can you tell me if the Royal empress tree and the Royal Poinciana are the same tree?
view the full question and answer

Forget-me-nots choking a spring in Bethlehem PA
June 20, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am restoring a native plant area along a spring that feeds directly into our local creek. Right now the spring is becoming choked with forget-me-nots, that I am trying ...
view the full question and answer

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