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

Monday - November 09, 2009

From: Pearland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native cuphea in Pearland TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have about 8 Bat Face Cupheas and I am having trouble with them. First, instead of mounding 360 degrees, the branches all grow forward (they do bloom well). They're in full sun, about 3 feet out from a wall. What could be causing this? Second, I live very near Houston, when and how should I trim them?

ANSWER:

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 they are being grown. Cuphea llavea, bat-faced cuphea, is native to Mexico, which we do not at present include in our North American Native Plant Database. From Magnolia Gardens, here is some more information on Cuphea llavea.

Since we don't have any information on this plant in our database, we'll try to make some suggestions that might help. First, this is an annual, so trimming it back in the Fall will not be necessary. If it has seeded out, or you have harvested seeds to plant in the Spring, you will have more plants next year. As for growing all in one direction, this is usually the result of not enough sun, and the plants will reach toward the sun. You say it is in full sun, but we regard "full sun" as 6 or more hours of sunlight daily. If other plants or your house are casting shade on the plant during some of that 6 hours, that could be what is causing the problem. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Replacement of non-native red tip photinias in Midlothian VA
April 30, 2012 - I need to replace our long lived red tips. They are now diseased. I would like a fast growing bush that I can trim and make a hedge with. Any suggestions
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

Non-native carrotwood tree in Simi Valley CA
June 25, 2009 - We have a beautiful 40+ foot carrotwood tree that has been covered with small nut-like pods growing in bunches. They are a mess. Is there a spray that controls/eliminates this problem?
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native Spathiphyllum from Floral Park, NY
December 03, 2010 - I have a medium to large size friendship lily indoor plant that was once magnificent when first purchased it. I lost plenty of lush green leaves to brown spots. The health has improved( I moved locat...
view the full question and answer

Shade ground cover under honeysuckle from Wichita KS
February 21, 2012 - Hi! I know this is a bit odd, but I am trying to find a nontoxic, good ground covering plant that can live in the shade while competing with the roots of a whole bunch of honeysuckle. I have a few ide...
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