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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 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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Thursday - July 22, 2010

From: Bay Point, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Suckers on non-native crape myrtle in Bay Point CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How can I stop suckers on a Crepe Myrtle tree? I have bought sucker stopper in the past, but find it hard to locate now. Is there something else I can spray or paint on the base of the tree to stop the suckers? Thank you

ANSWER:

Legerstroemia indica, Crapemyrtle, is native to temperate and tropical Asia. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which the plants are being grown. However, from The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension website, here is an article on Crape Myrtle Culture, Pages 3 and 4 of this document covers both pruning and control of suckers. They do mention a growth inhibitor for the suckers, but ordinarily just snipping them off will suffice, although you will have to keep doing it-there are no permanent fixes in Nature.
 

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