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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.

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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.

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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!

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Tuesday - June 23, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Planting distance for non-native crepe myrtles in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just purchased 7 katawba crepe myrtles and would like to know how far apart I need to space them. I am placing down on the right side of my front yard. They are in 5 gallon containers and about 5 - 6 ft tall.

ANSWER:

Lagerstroemia indica (Catawba crape myrtles) are native to Asia, and therefore out of our range of expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the care, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. Because this plant is so extensively hybridized (another reason why they are out of our purview) we have no way of knowing what its growth habit is-shrub, tree, big, dwarf? We found a website from Mortellaro's Nursery on Lagerstroemia indica (Catawba crape myrtles). If this does not have the answer to your question, we recommend you return to the nursery where you purchased your plants for the information you need.
 

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