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
1 rating

Saturday - November 05, 2005

From: St.Catharines, ON
Region: Canada
Topic: Pruning, Transplants, Vines
Title: Conditions for wisteria bloom on Ontario, Canada
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus


I live in Ontario Canada, and about 4 years ago I bought a shrub which was called wisteria. I loved this bush when I visited a cousin out in British Columbia. The problem is it has no trouble growing along my back fence, but it has never flowered? I'd also like to be able to split it so I can have some at the front of my house. I've seen a young branch coming from the ground, can I do that?


You may have the native American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens), but more likely you have either the non-native Japanese wisteria (W. floribunda) or the Chinese wisteria (W. sinensis). Whichever it is, the wisterias are notoriously slow to flower. This is especially true if they are fertilized or growing in soil that is too rich in nitrogen. In such a situation they grow lush foliage but are reluctant to bloom. Another factor in having a successfully blooming wisteria is available sunlight—it needs plenty of it. Pruning in early summer and again in late winter can encourage blooming. You also probably want to keep your wisteria pruned, especially if it is one of the non-natives, because they tend to "devour" fences. As for moving the young branch to a new location, wisterias are difficult to transplant. You are not likely to hurt the old plant, but may not be successful in getting it to grow in a new location. Ohio State University Extension Service has an excellent article on "Growing Wisteria".


More Vines Questions

Purple leatherflower with white bloom
July 17, 2014 - A couple of years ago at the wildflower center native plant sale I bought a purple leatherflower according to the tag. This is the first year it has bloomed and the blooms are pure white. The shape ma...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for memorial garden in Michigan
March 04, 2008 - I want to start a memorial garden for my daughter. I live in northern Michigan and the area has very tall white pines we have pruned them up about 15' so the area does get partial sun. Which plants w...
view the full question and answer

Shrub or Vine for NH Slope
May 11, 2013 - I'm looking for a native plant/shrub/vine that can be used to control erosion on a relatively steep slope in New Hampshire. Do you know of any?
view the full question and answer

Care of Passiflora incarnata or Passiflora coccinea
July 04, 2007 - Hi- I have two passionflowers, one red, one purple. I live in upstate NY. They grow very well up onto trellises, however, they have stopped producing flowers. Both are planted in pots (fairly large)...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a wild vine in East Texas
December 17, 2010 - Trying to identify a wild vine that grow 15-20 feet up our trees. The leaves are dark, glossy green about 2-3" long. The edges are smooth and elongated. Each leaf is placed to the right and then the ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center