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?

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
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
1 rating

Tuesday - February 05, 2008

From: McKinney, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Vines
Title: Care for cultivar of native Bignonia capreolata
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted Dragon Lady Cross Vines at the end of the fall last year. When would be the best time to trim them. I live in the Dallas area. They look kind of beat up right now and I thought if I trimmed them that would help. Is it a good time to do that? Thanks!

ANSWER:

"Dragon Lady" is a trade name for a cultivar, but it is North American native plant Bignonia capreolata (crossvine). This plant is often confused with Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper). Both are members of the Bignoniaceae (Trumpet-Creeper) Family. Both can be very aggressive, and, over time, outright invasive, although it seems the Campsis radicans is more guilty of this that the Bignonia capreolata, which is the plant you have. Under the circumstances, you would be well advised to keep them trimmed and keep an eye out for suckers or runners where you don't want them. This is a very good time of year to do the trimming, as most plants are pretty dormant right now, even the evergreen ones. Since this is a very aggressive grower, you can't be too aggressive in trimming. Use your pruning shears both to control and shape it. It will tolerate shade but blooms better in the sun; don't fertilize it too much, it will grow lazy and forget to bloom.

Here is an article by some gardeners with experience in the "Dragon Lady" cultivar that will perhaps give you more specific information.

 


Bignonia capreolata

Campsis radicans

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Planting and care of Desert Willow in Golden Valley, AZ.
May 17, 2013 - I got a desert willow to plant in yard. Some of the leaves dried out before I could plant. Will that stop the tree from growing into a decent size tree or stay as a shrub?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Texas Mountain Laurel in Dallas
May 04, 2010 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel that is about 3 years old. When I bought it 2 summers ago, it was about a foot high. Now it is over 6 feet. It seems to have grown so fast that the branches can't ke...
view the full question and answer

Oak roots damaged by ax from Austin
July 03, 2013 - Hello. I am attempting to create my own tiny copy of the Wildflower Center within my yard. I'm using all native, drought tolerant plants. My front yard is full of live oaks. I used a sod cutter la...
view the full question and answer

Flowers for days on end in California
March 30, 2012 - What are some plants or flowers that I can grow "all-year" in California?
view the full question and answer

Pruning native Senna lindheimeriana
September 28, 2008 - I asked a question about pruning a Texas Senna tree. The Texas Senna I have is either a S. wislizenii or a S.lindheimeriana. It is a beautiful tree that I purchased at a Texas Native Plant nursery. ...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center