En Español

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

Replacing non-native boxwood in Austin
October 03, 2011 - I have a large maze garden, possibly boxwood, originally planted in the 1950's, in Austin, Texas. About 1/3 of it has died out, probably due to drought, heat and age. Should I attempt to replant ju...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive Datura sprouting from compost
September 26, 2005 - Hi, I have a plant growing out of some compost we purchased this spring and no one can tell me what it is. It's about 4 ft. tall, the stem is maroon like rhubarb and it produces 4-5 in. tubular lig...
view the full question and answer

Cutting back of non-native Salvia Elegans in Portland OR
December 31, 2011 - I did not trim back my pineapple sage in the fall. It is now winter and the plants are bare sticks. Should I cut them back or leave them alone?
view the full question and answer

Survival of non-native Cape Plumbago in Delaware
October 18, 2008 - I have a cape plumbago shrub growing in a large pot outdoors - but we are in Delaware - where it won't apparently survive the winter. How can I keep my plumbago safe over the winter?
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native plant
March 17, 2016 - I have a plant that grows about 1' tall, looks sort of like a dracaena. The leaves grow off of a short stem and are yellowish (no green at all) with brilliant slashes of hot pink an red. It is georg...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center