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
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

Smarty Plants on Kokias
January 27, 2005 - I am searching for seeds of different Kokias (Kokia cookei, K. drynariodes and K. kauaiensis) and Thespesias (Thespesia grandiflora, T. thespesioides, T. nerifolia and T. popul...
view the full question and answer

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
July 02, 2014 - Foxglove (digitalis purpurea) is not a native U.S. plant. It was introduced to the U.S. from Europe and is now considered invasive in many parts of the western U.S. It invades our forested wild land...
view the full question and answer

Growing fruits and vegetables from Holbrook NY
April 06, 2012 - I have been looking for information on what plants, vegetables and fruits can be grown on Long Island NY to provide a sustainable food source for a community in the event of food becoming scarce. Wha...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Bird of Paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae)
November 30, 2008 - I have two Bird of Paradise plants on my lanai (Marion County, FL) and they are both in large pots. Nobody but me seems to like them at my house and I have been asked if I could trim all the leaves o...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to non-native Sago Palms in Austin
May 03, 2010 - Due to the unusually cold winter in Austin my sago palms fronds froze. I have not removed the dead fronds should I? If only the fronds froze when will new fronds start to grow?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center