En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - January 05, 2008

From: Kingsland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Promoting bloom of crossvine
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I planted a crossvine a couple of years ago and it has grown quite well, climbing well up the Mesquite tree it was planted under. However, it has never bloomed. I was really looking forward to those lovely flowers. What do I need to do to coax a bloom?


Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) is an evergreen flowering vine that can grow to 50 feet in length. There are two or three possibilities as to why you are not getting blooms. The first, we suspect, is that it has not matured enough to bloom yet. It sometimes takes several years before the gorgeous hummingbird-attracting blooms begin to appear. The second possibility is that it is not getting enough sun. While this plant will tolerate shade, it does much better in full sun. Sometimes a crossvine will begin to bloom when it gets to the top of its support or trellis, and gets into the sunlight. And, finally, you may be giving it too much nitrogen fertilizer. It likes a lot of water and nutrients, and general purpose fertilizer should be added to the soil every two to three weeks. Switch to a high phosphorus formula just before the blooming period. Too much nitrogen in fertilizer will promote lots of green leaves in a plant, at a cost to blooms. You should also be warned that this plant can become invasive. It will reseed and if you do not want all those additional plants coming up, remove the seed pods before they complete development.


Bignonia capreolata





More Vines Questions

Seed planting of Crossvine from Orlando FL
September 12, 2011 - Seed planting of Bignonia capreolata - Tangerine Beauty. I have seed pods. Do I plant how deep and should I put in a plastic bag with a wet papertowel in the refrigerator and let it sprout? ...
view the full question and answer

Virginia creeper in trees
April 26, 2008 - Can Virginia creeper be allowed to climb on trees--specifically Texas ash and live oak--or will it damage them if allowed to attach itself? We are thinking of using it as erosion control in a greenbe...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for Lake Jackson, Texas
March 06, 2009 - I have some lattice for privacy that I would like to cover with an evergreen vine or ivy. One is facing to the west, the other to the east. What would you suggest?
view the full question and answer

Vine to cover pile of tree limbs
August 13, 2013 - I have a pile of tree limbs in my yard. I'd like to find a (flowering or not) vine type plant native to the Austin TX area that will eventually grow all over and cover this pile. Thanks for any sug...
view the full question and answer

Discouraging Poison Ivy
June 27, 2015 - Is there a fern that discourages poison ivy from growing?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center