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

Friday - June 15, 2007

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Decline in non-native crape myrtles
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in Round Rock and the ground is rocky about one foot beneath the surface. I have about 14 crape myrtles that have been doing very well for about 6 years now. Last year the leaves on 1 started turning red and then yellow and it didn't grow or flower no matter what I did. This year, 2 more besides the 1 have also started turning yellow. I sprayed for mold and also used fertilizer with iron but nothing helps. What could be going on with them?

ANSWER:

The focus of study and the limit of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is limited to plants native to North America. Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) are native to other parts of the world. However, we can give you some general advice. Crape myrtles are normally not very susceptible to disease or insect problems. High nitrogen fertilization can cause problems similar to those you describe. At any rate, it is usually not a good idea to feed declining plants. We would suspect a problem associated with nutrition or a root-related problem.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Freeze damage to non-native Philodendron selloeum in Deltona FL
June 22, 2010 - My philodendrons selloeum died this past winter in the freeze,came back slowly this spring and now are suffering with very small deformed leaves. Some do grow but are getting large brown dry areas on ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of non-native Buddleja davidii
June 30, 2008 - I love butterfly bushes - but have bad luck growing them. I now have several, including Butterfly Nanho Purple; and they constantly wilt. It has been a dry hot Austin summer, but should I water when...
view the full question and answer

Can lantana be grown in British Columbia from Vernon BC
October 20, 2012 - Can I grow lantana in Vernon B.C. Canada?
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive peanut butter tree from Canby, OR
July 17, 2012 - I too have a peanut butter tree with the pink and white blooms, its about 5 years old and is beautiful, but 2 weeks ago it started wilting and losing all its leaves, I am afraid it is dying. Can I sav...
view the full question and answer

Non-native pittisporum disease in Austin
August 09, 2009 - Did Barbara Medford of Round Rock, TX ever find out what was causing sections of her dwarf pittosporum to die out? I have seen this in many yards now.
view the full question and answer

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