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
10 ratings

Wednesday - August 01, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests, Trees
Title: Sticky stuff dripping from non-native crape myrtle in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

There is sticky sap-like stuff dropping from the very large crepe myrtle in my yard. The tree has quit blooming. This didn't happen last year when it was so dry; it started after we had all the rain in July. I assume it's a fungus or aphid related somehow to the rain. My question is: should I be worried about the tree? Is there something I should be doing to treat it?

ANSWER:

This is a very common complaint this time of year, especially in Austin, and crape myrtles seem to be absolute magnets for aphids. Lagerstroemia indica (crape myrtle) is native to China and therefore not in Mr. Smarty Plants' realm of expertise nor our Native Plant Database. Here is a previous answer on this subject. Avoid herbicides, as they will kill beneficial insects that help control the aphids, but not disturb the aphid eggs that will soon hatch into more aphids. A spray of soapy water will help to wash off aphids and eggs.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native begonias and Texas summer
March 06, 2009 - I live in Austin, TX. I have two flower beds that each get plenty of sun during the day (8 to 10 hours in summer time). I love Begonias and was considering planting Begonias in my flowerbeds. Will ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting honeysuckle bush in Illinois
April 18, 2009 - Want to transplant 3 honeysuckle shrubs 10 to 12' tall this month, although not the best time. Please advise.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on dogwoods
August 05, 2005 - I am interested in the worldwide distribution of the dogwood family/cornus. Specifically, I am interested in whether or not there are indiginous species on the Indian Subcontinent. Is there a resour...
view the full question and answer

Trailing perennial plants for High Wycombe, England
April 19, 2008 - Hello Mr Smarty Plants, I would like to know what trailing plants are also perennial, preferably flowering ones but that also look pretty when not in flower? My kitchen looks out onto a five foot h...
view the full question and answer

Beans growing under artificial light from Vernon CT
May 04, 2012 - What bean plant will grow the best under a flourescent,spot gro light,green transparent light,or Natural light and why.What caused it to grow like it did?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center