En Español

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

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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

Spots on leaves of sevenleaf creeper in Austin
November 14, 2009 - Have 3 seven leaf creepers that are planted in mostly shade. In Sept & Oct 2009 all 3 plants had dried up leaves which fell off; however, all three plants grew new leaves when we got rain and are com...
view the full question and answer

Vine recommendations for Central Texas homes
September 02, 2012 - I have hardy plank siding and am looking for a Central Texas native vine that will grow over it. I am trying to keep it from growing under the planks.
view the full question and answer

Native vine for privacy on metal mesh fence from Houston
March 20, 2014 - Is there a native vine that does not get top heavy in order to provide privacy from the bottom to the top on an expanded metal mesh fence? It's okay if it dies back, but prefer for it to be evergree...
view the full question and answer

Climbing vines that are deer resistant
July 12, 2013 - Please find plants that are climbing vines and are deer resistant
view the full question and answer

Smoky Mountains Shaded Slope Plant Suggestions
April 29, 2013 - We live in a very shady spot in Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We would like to plant vegetation on a sloped area behind our cottage to stop erosion after building an addition. Our h...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center