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

Sunday - October 03, 2010

From: Lexington, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs, Vines
Title: Blooming challenges with oakleaf hydrangea and bittersweet vine in KY
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

1. I cut back my oak leaf hydrangea last fall and it did not bloom this past year. Problem? 2. I have 3 yr old male/female bittersweet plants growing heartily, but no berries. Problem? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Well, it is impossible to make a precise diagnosis without more information or actually seeing the plants but there are a few things that could be causing your problems.

You don't mention how old/large your oak leaf hydrangea is or if it has bloomed in previous years.  Oak leaf hydrangea rarely needs pruning and it blooms on new growth (its flower buds are set on the new growth in the spring) so you should be able to prune it in the fall without compromising the blooms for next season.  There must be another reason it didn't bloom (if it did in previous years).  If it was newly planted last year, it would have come from an environment where it was coddled so that there would be blooms on it in the garden center.  Transplanting it to your garden environment could set it back enough to prevent it from blooming the following year. 

Regarding your bittersweet vines:  if you in fact have a male and a female and if they bloom at the same time and if there is successful pollination and if conditions (light and moisture) are favorable for development of the fruit you will have berries.  So you will have to figure out if one or more of these "if's" is causing your problem.

Because your questions are both about plant culture, we really do recommend you contact a Master Gardener at your local agricultural extension office for assistance.

 

More Vines Questions

Vines for fence in Bentonville, Arkansas
June 12, 2013 - I have about 600 LF of 8ft high chain link fence I would like to grow vines on in Northwest Arkansas for screening. I would like some to cover quickly but be maintenance friendly. I heard alternating ...
view the full question and answer

Native Vines for Pacific Northwest
June 30, 2010 - Hello, I recently built a shed/pen for my large dog. I have a trellis horizontal above the fence to hide the shed from street. I live in Pacific NW. Do you have any suggestions on a nontoxic evergr...
view the full question and answer

Identification of purchased vine
November 11, 2010 - Hi, I bought a hanging vine plant, and came with no id. The leaves are simple, alternate arrangement, entire margin (smooth edge margin). It has an ashy look, like the green purple sage. The flower ...
view the full question and answer

Where in Texas can Vitis rupestris be found for collecting seeds and cuttings
July 27, 2014 - Where in Texas can I collect in the wild - cuttings or seeds from the Native American plant Vitis rupestris? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming wisteria in Oklahoma
June 24, 2008 - I have a wisteria bush that doesn't bloom. It's two years old. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

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