Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Possible allelopathic properties of Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)
October 02, 2015 - I want to plant a coral honeysuckle at the base of a mesquite tree. Anything in the mesquite that would inhibit the honeysuckle from growing?
view the full question and answer

Inducing flowering on vines
August 27, 2008 - My daughter presented me with a lovely Passiflora coccinea a few months ago. It is growing marvelously in full sun at the base of a pine tree. I'm wondering, though, if I were to limit the amount o...
view the full question and answer

Identity of milkweed vine with smooth seedpod
November 23, 2012 - I believe the vine I am curious about may be Matelea reticulata. However, most of the pictures I have seen of that vine show bumps on the exterior of the seed pod, and the pod I have is green and smo...
view the full question and answer

Vine non-toxic to alpacas and dogs from Fowler CA
June 29, 2012 - We have alpacas and would like to plant a flowering vine on a backyard fence that adjoins the pasture. We live in Central California so we have many hot days during the summer and would like a plan...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine growing near river in New Hampshire
August 31, 2009 - I found a small vine growing near a river in NH. It has five point leaflets similar to sumac but much smaller. The flowers were pink with a deep purple/burgundy on the inside. The flowers are in clus...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.