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 - June 29, 2012

From: Prosper, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests
Title: Application of sprays to non-native Crape Myrtle from Prosper TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can applying a systemic insecticide/fungicide combo prevent or limit Crape Myrtle blooms? I have 5 large lavender Crapes that are not blooming or budding yet and this is the first time I have used a systemic on them. Applied it in late May. They do have new growth and are very full.

ANSWER:

 

Lagerstroemia indica (crape myrtle) is native to China, Japan and Korea and is therefore out of the realm of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants. We are committed to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those grow natively. This is a conservation issue, because plants native to an area will have become accustomed to the soils, rainfall and climate over centuries of experience.

From the United States National Arboretum, here are Questions and Answers on Crape Myrtle. From that article:

"My crapemyrtle is reluctant to bloom. What am I doing wrong?

Crapemyrtles flower most heavily in full, uninterrupted sunlight.  Even an hour of shade during the day will compromise flowering.  Frequent irrigation, lack of heat, and overfertilization promote vegetative growth at the expense of flowering.  In extreme drought conditions or cool, rainy summers, flowering may be delayed until the early autumn."

We also discourage spraying any kind of "...icide" to a plant without clear indications that it is needed.

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

When to Move Potted Plants Outside in Texas?
July 07, 2016 - When can I move my potted patio plants back outside? I live in Heath/ Rockwall, Texas. I have Horses tail, Croutens, and Money tree.
view the full question and answer

Non-native Vanda plants in the Philippines
March 23, 2010 - My brother lives in the Philippines and he's asking for help regarding his Vanda Plants. His Vandas are outdoors, east side of house, gets morning sun only. He waters everyday because it dries up ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for oak shade from Whitney TX
December 24, 2012 - I live in Whitney, Texas and have a number of beautiful Live Oak trees in a portion of my yard providing deep shade. Asian Jasmine grows in about 5 ft circle around them and then nothing! I have walk ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native. Why are my potted Royal Empress trees dying?
June 22, 2009 - I have purchased several Royal Empress trees over the past two years. Why won't they grow? Some sprouted leaves and then died while in the pots I planted them in. While others, that are 2 years old ...
view the full question and answer

Encouraging bloom on non-native Batwing Erythrina
July 18, 2007 - Hi! I have a Batwing Erythrina in the ground next to my driveway in full sun in Houston. It's nine years old and is about twenty feet tall, but it does not bloom. What can I do? Thanks for your s...
view the full question and answer

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