Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Ivy a suitable ground cover in Live Oaks from Gulfport MS
April 17, 2014 - Will Ivy be a safe and suitable ground cover for old growth Live Oak trees in coastal Mississippi?
view the full question and answer

Hybrid Campsis radicans 'Madame Rosy' from Medina OH
July 07, 2012 - I have a Madame Rosy Campsis that is not blooming. We purchased and planted it last year, mid-summer and it did well for the remainder of the season but this year...nothing but green leaves........wh...
view the full question and answer

Vine for lanai in St. Augustine FL
August 16, 2009 - What vine can I grow to attach to a screened in lanai around my pool? Will it damage my screen?
view the full question and answer

No Grapes on Vines in Sonora, CA
May 31, 2011 - We have lived in our home since 2002 and have a grapevine that grows beautiful green lush leaves and vines every year but never has produced grapes. What can I do to get some grapes on this vine?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on hyacinth bean vine
July 01, 2005 - I'm looking for what I believe is a wild vine. All i know is that it has purplish colored beans and the flowers are also purple. Also the vine itself is purplish. i believe that the vine is either fro...
view the full question and answer

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