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Mr. Smarty Plants - Care for cultivar of native Bignonia capreolata

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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

 

 

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