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 - July 17, 2009

From: Henderson, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Return to original color of non-native crape myrtles in Henderson, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I bought 3 Dynamite Crape Myrtles that were about 3 -4 feet tall (at Lowe's). In the late Spring, I planted 2 of them about 100 feet apart, in full sun, and left the other one in a pot. They all bloomed out the pretty red that they are supposed to, then the 102 + degree weather hit and I guess I let the two planted ones get a little dry. They are in full sun and no clouds have been in sight. Immediately after watering the two planted, dry crapes, they began blooming - but this time they bloomed a medium pink!! They are the same plants that had bloomed red. The one in the pot is still blooming red. Do you have any idea what happened, and if they will revert back to the red that they first bloomed?

ANSWER:

Lagerstroemia indica (crapemyrtle) is native to Asia and therefore out of our range of expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we are committed to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. The non-native crapemyrtle has been so extensively hybridized to get different colors and bloom times that there is no telling what feature in your plant's ancestry caused it to change color. We have heard of crape myrtles changing color before, but we have no idea if they will change back.

Here is a website from Floridata on Lagerstroemia indica that will give you some more information.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Late blooming Esperanza in St. Augustine FL
April 21, 2011 - I bought an Esperanza at a plant expo- I was told it was a Florida native Allamanda. It took me two years to figure out what I had. Mine grows 8 ft. tall and is huge! But it doesn't bloom until alm...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a young lilac
November 05, 2012 - This past spring I planted a hybrid lilac in the ground. The weather here has started to get cold, and much more so at night. Also, the temperatures go from warm to cold and back again as if unsure wh...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive Arctium minus in New York
June 13, 2006 - For as long as I can remember, my family has been picking and eating a wild plant which we and other Italian families call " cardoons". I've often heard to it referred to burdock but no one knows t...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for property in Oaxaca Mexico
January 17, 2011 - I don't know if you can help me with this. I am building a house in Oaxaca Mexico, and I want to use native plants in the landscape. We are on the coast where it stays warm all the time. Do you kn...
view the full question and answer

Death of non-native eleaegnus from Austin
March 30, 2013 - We have a long hedge of elaeagnus, about 5 ft tall. Four of them died in the middle of the hedge. Where can we find such big plants? Is it advisable to unroot and transplant from another area?
view the full question and answer

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