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
1 rating

Sunday - April 12, 2009

From: Midwest City, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problems with Crape Myrtles in Oklahoma.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I planted Crape Myrtles,Catawba, that are about 4 feet high. I planted them last October. They all had new leaves on them a week ago. All of the leaves are now brown and shriveled up. There is a touch of green on some of the leaves but not much. Are they dead? Did this happen because of the cold? Will fertilizing with fish guts (not sure of product name) help them?

ANSWER:

Crape myrtle  Lagerstroemia indica , even though it appears to be the "State Shrub" of Texas, is not a native of the United States. From your description, it sounds like the new spring growth on your plants got hit pretty hard by the cold snap that passed through Texas and Oklahoma. Fish guts are not going to undo the damage caused by the cold. Your best bet is to watch and wait to see if the plants recover on their own.

By the way, we would be remiss if we didn't mention that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Plants native to an area are already adapted to the conditions by millennia of experience and will require less water, fertilizer and maintenance. Crape myrtles are native to southeast Asia, and are therefore out of our range of expertise.

These two websites can give you more information about Lagerstroemia indica:

Floridata

University of Georgia Extension

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Why isn't my recently planted Mexican Redbud growing in Georgetown, TX?
April 11, 2010 - I planted a container-grown Mexican Redbud in early March. As of April 5th, it is showing no signs of buds or leaves. Other redbuds in the area (possibly Texas redbuds) have been blooming for severa...
view the full question and answer

Changing colors on Mexican Plum trees from Bellaire TX
June 20, 2013 - The leaves on my Mexican Plum tree have recently started turning yellow/brown and the veins in leaves are red. Is this a watering issue or disease issue? Mites are on the leaves. This has been a ra...
view the full question and answer

Improving blooming on mock orange
March 03, 2008 - I have a now 6 yr. old mock orange shrub in the garden which has never bloomed, darn it. I have fed, not fed, mulched, not mulched, sheared, not sheared. What gives? Will it ever bloom, or shall I ...
view the full question and answer

Acid rain in Ft. Worth?
August 19, 2010 - ALERT. NEED IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. Why are so many trees, plants, etc. in the Fort Worth area dying?? I heard acid rain. Please don't say drought. I have lived in this area all my life and survived t...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify white powdery substance on Wisteria in Georgetown, TX.
May 11, 2011 - My wisteria shrub has a white powdery substance over the wood base. I have tried spraying a fungicide on it but have seen no improvement. Any suggestions?
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