Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Wednesday - May 15, 2013

From: Rockwall, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Vines
Title: 10 year old Wisteria fails to bloom in Rockwall, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I love wisteria. I had four (4) wisteria plants professionally planted at least ten (10) years ago. These wisteria plants have NEVER bloomed. Why not?

ANSWER:

The native Wisteria in Texas is Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria), and according to the USDA distribution map, it doesn’t natively occur in Rockwall county.  This link to the Missouri Botanical Garden has lots of information about this Wisteria, and has this to say about flowering; “Failure of vines to produce flowers may be attributable to a number of causes including death of flower buds in winter, too much shade, plants too young (especially seed grown ones), improper pruning or over fertilization.”

It could be that you have one of the Asian species of Wisteria; Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis ) or Japanese Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda ). These can take up to 15 years for flowers to appear.

This fact sheet from  Ohio State University Extension tells a lot about these plants.

Here’s some interesting information from Purdue University; “Since most gardeners are drawn to this plant for its blossoms, they are quite frustrated by the plant's notorious tendency to produce only vegetation. There are many potential explanations for this annoying problem, including the plant's immaturity, too much nitrogen, insufficient phosphorus, poor-quality plants and too much shade.
Asian wisterias need to reach a degree of maturity before they are able to produce flowers. In fact, in can take up to 15 years or more before the vines reach blooming stage.
Those who have succeeded in raising wisteria often recommend root pruning, applying superphosphate, rigorous pruning of the shoots and planting in full sun. Most important, you should start with good-quality plants that have been propagated from cuttings of plants known to flower while relatively young. If you know someone willing to share a great specimen, take cuttings of the stem tips in July.  Avoid planting seedling vines because the genetic variability of seed reproduction makes it impossible to predict their blooming habit.”
The invasive potential of Asian wisterias  is a concern in some southern states.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Fruit trees for Buckeye AZ
May 16, 2010 - I am moving to Buckeye Az from Utah and would like to know what type of fruit trees I can grow. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Replacement of non-native red tip photinias in Midlothian VA
April 30, 2012 - I need to replace our long lived red tips. They are now diseased. I would like a fast growing bush that I can trim and make a hedge with. Any suggestions
view the full question and answer

Suckers on non-native crape myrtle in Bay Point CA
July 22, 2010 - How can I stop suckers on a Crepe Myrtle tree? I have bought sucker stopper in the past, but find it hard to locate now. Is there something else I can spray or paint on the base of the tree to stop ...
view the full question and answer

Loss of leaves from globe willows in Utah
July 26, 2008 - I have four globe willows that have been in my back yard for the past 6 years. For the past month they have been losing their leaves from the bottom up. We had aphids in some of our other trees and ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 12, 2012 - I don't know if they are native or not, My mom bought some plants at an event at the Dallas Convention Center that all had rocks and little dirt that they sat on. The bases of the plants were large a...
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.