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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - August 27, 2008

From: Rosenberg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Inducing flowering on vines
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

My daughter presented me with a lovely Passiflora coccinea a few months ago. It is growing marvelously in full sun at the base of a pine tree. I'm wondering, though, if I were to limit the amount of new growth, would it bloom more? The same applies to a. . . I forgot the scientific name; a Sky Vine? Thank you for your help. Love the site!!!!

ANSWER:

Rampant plant growth and limited flowering are often signs of excessive nitrogen.  Try cutting back on feeding or stop feeding altogether for awhile.  Sometimes, allowing the vine to dry to wilting between waterings (not to the point of hurting the plant) will also induce more flowering.  Finally, sometimes flowering is a matter of timing and the plant will simply flower only when the time is right.

Your Sky Vine is probably Thurbergia grandiflora, a native of the Indian subcontinent.

 

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