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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - July 16, 2011

From: Liberty hill, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Alamo vine not blooming in Liberty Hill TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My Alamo vine is not blooming. It is planted in full sun. The vine looks healthy. Should I fertilize, if so, with what.


Let's begin by seeing what we know about Merremia dissecta (Noyau vine); "Alamo vine" is another common name. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that it grows in Travis County, and since you are right on the border of Williamson and Travis Counties, there should be no problem there. According to our webpage on this plant, which you can read by following the plant link above, it blooms white from May to November, and needs to be in sun (6 hours or more of sunlight a day) or part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day). Its water requirements are low to medium, and it likes a moist or dry soil. It is a member of the Convolvaceae or morning glory family, and can be quite aggressive.

At this point, the only thing we can identify as a possibility for non-blooming is to ask when you planted it? It is a perennial, and most perennials don't begin to bloom until their second year in the ground. As to fertilizer, no. In the first place, most native plants don't need fertilizer, and some actively dislike it. In the second place, fertilizing a plant that you wish to bloom will only discourage the blooms, especially if it is a high-nitrogen fertilizer. That encourages leaves to grow, and is often used for lawn, because that's what you want from a lawn-green leaves. If a fertilizer has been applied to nearby lawn or in the bed the Alamo vine shares, that could be inhibiting, rather than encouraging the bloom.  Finally, as hot and dry as it has been, and especially if it has been fertilized with nitrogen, the plant may be using all its energy to stay alive and keep leaves going to manufacture the nutrients for the tree. All plants must bloom in order to set seed in order to propagate themselves, so it should bloom, but it might be later rather than sooner. Make sure it's getting enough water and light. Beyond that, we prescribe patience.


From the Image Gallery

Alamo vine
Merremia dissecta

Alamo vine
Merremia dissecta

Alamo vine
Merremia dissecta

More Vines Questions

Flowering vine with yellow flowers in Nevada
August 10, 2014 - A flowering vine started growing in our Henderson back yard about 2 months ago. It has variegated green leaves & yellow flowers. We decided not to pull it out & now it's spreading. I've looked on v...
view the full question and answer

Climbing Vine for Illinois That is Non-Toxic to Dogs
May 31, 2013 - I am looking for a climbing vine hardy in Illinois (zone 5) that it non-toxic to dogs. Can you help?
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine in El Paso, Texas
November 23, 2012 - I live in Del Rio Texas - Zone 8/9 and I have a vine which can't be identified. It looks like a morning glory white flower with crimson throat, but the leaf pattern is like a 5-7 fingered hand with d...
view the full question and answer

Tough, Non-toxic Vine to Cover Fence in Washington
February 16, 2014 - I have about 150 feet of 6-foot high chain link fence that I would like to cover with a vine for privacy. I really want an evergreen or semi-evergreen plant that requires very little care. I also don...
view the full question and answer

Vines to Complement a Fence
April 10, 2012 - I have a 3' weathered picket fence that I want to plant a flowering vine on part of it. The vine must be perennial, tolerate full sun and low watering. Is there anything besides trumpet, cross vine, ...
view the full question and answer

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