En EspaŅol

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
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
3 ratings

Tuesday - July 08, 2008

From: Granite Bay, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Changing color of crape myrtle blooms
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have 5 well established crape myrtle trees whose blooms are a very light lavender/pink color. I would like to know if there is any way to deepen or change the color of the blooms. I would prefer a much more vivid bloom (deep pink or purple) if possible, but even a subtle change would be welcome if it is doable at all.

ANSWER:

Oh, gosh, sorry, our Magic Wand doesn't have a color-changing setting. There are a very few plants (hydrangeas being the only one that comes to mind) whose bloom color can be changed from pink to blue according to the soil they are growing in; pink for alkaline soil and blue for acidic soil. But we can find no indication that crape myrtle bloom colors can be altered. The crape myrtle is one of the most widely hybridized plants around, and each cross in the hybridization program requires a lot of time and care in getting just the right height, or bloom color or growing habit sought by the grower. To unravel how your particular trees acquired their lavender/pink color would require intricate retracing of the genetics involved, and you still couldn't change the colors of the ones you have. This University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service website Crape Myrtle Culture lists a number of cultivars by color, etc. However, your best bet, if you want to purchase plants with a certain plant color, is to go to the nursery and actually see the colors of blooms before you buy the plant. And learn to love lavender/pink.

 

More Trees Questions

Survivors of a Cedar Elm thicket thinning.
April 12, 2013 - I thinned a thicket of cedar elm saplings, but a few are now leaning excessively. Will they straighten up over time or should I go ahead and cut them too? Thanks!!
view the full question and answer

Live Oak Suckers
March 21, 2011 - Hello, my neighbor cleared away their St. Augustine grass for mulch and plantings. Under a huge, beautiful Live Oak tree they placed a wide bed of medium gravel, almost out to the drip line. It look...
view the full question and answer

What are the differences between Arbutus xalapensis, A. unedo and A. marina
August 29, 2013 - One nursery lists madrone trees as arbutus uneda compacta and arbutus marina. The other lists it as arbutus xalapensis, which is the only name I can find in the data base. There is a very large pric...
view the full question and answer

Apache Pine for Dripping Springs, TX.
July 02, 2014 - Is the Apache Pine tree a good choice for planting in alkaline soil with excellent drainage?
view the full question and answer

Effects of patio under large tree
July 17, 2008 - I would like to put in a patio under a fairly large tree. I understand a tree needs some open ground around it for air and water. Can I use flagstone leaving 6-10 inches of space between the stones?...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center