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

Disappearing oranges from Satsuma orange in Austin
June 25, 2008 - I had many tiny future oranges on my Satsuma Orange Tree until a few days ago. Suddenly, all were gone except one. They weren't on the ground and the tree itself seems incredibly healthy. It is gr...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native bi-color iris from Spring Branch TX
August 18, 2011 - Bi colored iris. I have four plants planted around our water feature last fall. Up until recently they all looked very healthy, yet not blooming. Several weeks ago I noticed that two of the plants ...
view the full question and answer

Possibly escaped non-native Buddleja davidii in Missouri
March 15, 2006 - About 3 years ago my wife and I were traveling thru southeastern Missouri and stopped at a road side rest station on Interstate 44. While we were there we noticed a shrub about 4 to 5 feet tall with p...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native Knockout roses and golden euonymus together from Crystal City MO
May 19, 2013 - Can you plant knock out roses and golden euonymus together?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Japanese maple
September 28, 2008 - I have a small Japanese Maple that I planted last fall. I planted it under a huge pecan tree where it gets dappled shade. It has grown very little this spring and summer and the leaves are gray and ...
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.