Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - January 05, 2008

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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

Controlling pumpkin vine in British Columbia
July 15, 2008 - I have never grown pumpkins before but decided to try one plant this year. It seems to be taking over my small garden space. Can I prune it back? I only want one or two pumpkins for my grandchildre...
view the full question and answer

How to propagate Clematis texensis in Austin, TX?
May 14, 2012 - How do I propagate a Clematis texensis Buckl. Scarlet leatherflower from the seed pod?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for screen
March 20, 2013 - We have pretty much "dead" red-tipped photinia bushes and old pine trees that have seen better days, on a steep hillside. We need to remove and replace with a more natural setting, with some terraci...
view the full question and answer

Identifying vine in Alabama
June 16, 2008 - I have a vine growing on my fence and I need help identifying it. The leaves are a large and medium green oval shaped and along the vine there are clusters of tiny(really tiny) flowers.They are a pale...
view the full question and answer

Is Matelea reticulata invasive? Will it take over a crossvine?
June 11, 2014 - I have 50 feet of fencing with a healthy crop of cross vine on it. Pearl milkweed (I believe it is Matelea reticulata) is growing into portions of the cross vine. Is the milkweed too invasive for th...
view the full question and answer

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