En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Blooming challenges with oakleaf hydrangea and bittersweet vine in KY

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
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

Is hummingbird vine poisonous to parrots?
June 26, 2011 - Is hummingbird vine poisonous to parrots? I am setting up vines and plants around the aviary and would like to use this vine if it's not poisonous.
view the full question and answer

Identification of possible Hairy Cluster Vine or Clematis
May 28, 2007 - I found a small twining vine with purple to lavender, tubular flowers hanging on one side of the stem. The leaves are very narrow and alternate about 3/4"-1" long. I found them on the side of the ...
view the full question and answer

Texas natives for a small garden with red flowers
October 03, 2009 - I have a garden that is 4' deep, what can I put there that is a Texas native, I would really like some color (preferably red)also it needs to be able to grow tall (8 - 10')
view the full question and answer

Native vine to cover chain link fence in Massachusetts
March 21, 2008 - I have a chain link fence I don't want to bother taking down, any suggestions on a clinging vine that will rapidly attach itself to the links and eventually cover it with a green "blanket"? thanks
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Virginia creeper
September 02, 2008 - I have a large Virginia creeper plant approximately 15 feet in length. Is it possible to transplant the whole thing without killing it? If so how do I care for it after it has been moved? Thank yo...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center