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

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 Vines Questions

Identity of vine growing in New Jersey
July 03, 2012 - Hello! I am hoping you may be able to help me out in identifying a vine plant that has started to grow from under my deck, through the lattice and up the outside of my deck. I bought the house 2 y...
view the full question and answer

Winter survival of non-native Mandevilla vine
March 24, 2007 - Last summer I bought a dwarf mandavilla vine that blooms deep red and planted it in a pot and kept in on my east-facing porch, where its tendrils hung over the pot. I had to move it to shelter for the...
view the full question and answer

Non-toxic plants for dog yard from Freeport PA
June 24, 2012 - I'm looking for wildlife-friendly native plants that aren't toxic to dogs. I have a place for some small shrubs and/or flowers. And a climbing vine that I could train on a trellis would work espec...
view the full question and answer

Carolina Jasmine failing to turn green in Pleasant Garden NC
April 26, 2011 - We planted Carolina Jasmine last year and it did great. This Spring we only have about 2-3 small green leaves beginning on the vines. We did not cut them back in the Fall. Is it time for them to be tu...
view the full question and answer

What color should I paint a gazebo for vines in Arizona?
January 29, 2014 - I have a two questions. I have a dome shaped metal gazebo that I want a vine to grow up the 4 columns and cover the top. I live in Tempe, AZ which is hugely hot in summer. The gazebo is black right ...
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