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?

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
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 Shrubs Questions

Small evergreen shrubs for Fairfax VA
May 13, 2010 - I have a 2' wide 6' long strip between a brick wall and the front walk leading up to the entry way. Lavender has been a pain and I would like to replace it with an attractive evergreen alternate. ...
view the full question and answer

Small shrub to plant in Austin Texas
March 11, 2009 - Hi.. I live in Southwest Austin and I am looking for a shrub that I can plant against the back of my house, which faces the north. I want something native, fairly low maintenance and not too large,...
view the full question and answer

Natural location of Ceanothus impressus in California
May 21, 2006 - Where is Ceanothus impressus 'victoria' native? I need as specific as you can. Thanks much.
view the full question and answer

Information about blackleaf elderberry
July 03, 2008 - I was given a blackleaf elderberry. Do I plant this tree in shade or sun? Also, does it require a lot of moisture? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Need help identifying a deciduous weedy shrub in Ridgefield, CT.
September 01, 2010 - My overgrown property is blanketed in a deciduous weedy shrub. Its not Autumn Olive. The stems have large thorns and the shrub is comprised of many thick woody stems that, when cut have a distinctive ...
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