Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Thursday - March 26, 2009

From: Chandler, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Failure to bloom of non-native crepe myrtle
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a white crepe myrtle that never bloomed last year..my pink ones were beautiful. What can I fertilize with to promote blooming for the white one? And, yes, it is in the sun!

ANSWER:

While there is a crape myrtle native to North America, Malpighia glabra (wild crapemyrtle), it is native only to Texas and is a member of the Malpighiaceae (Barbados Cherry) family. It is therefore not even closely related to Lagerstroemia indica, which is native to temperate and tropical Asia. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they grow naturally, which places this out of our range of expertise. We can, however, refer you to a Floridata website,  Lagerstroemia indica, which should give you some more information on the culture of your plants. We can also advise you NOT to fertilize until you explore some more possibiities for the non-bloom, as  over-fertilizing creates abundant foliage at the expense of blooms, especially high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer. It is possible that your white crape myrtle is situated where regular lawn fertilizing is causing it receive an overdose of nitrogen.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Replacing non-native iceplant in El Cajon CA
June 11, 2010 - Help! We are clearing fungus dead iceplant on a massive steep bank. Should I avoid replacing it with more iceplant? Would myaporum prostrate be a better option? Fast growing, erosion resistant, zero m...
view the full question and answer

Corkscrew willow damage to roof in Detroit, MI.
August 13, 2009 - I have a corkscrew willow (Detroit, MI) that is huge and whose branches hang on top of the asphalt shingles of my mobile home. It has now been discovered that these shingles, under the branches, are ...
view the full question and answer

Recommend a plant similar to Corkscrew Willow for Austin, TX.
June 16, 2015 - Do corkscrew willows do well in Austin, TX? If not, can you recommend a willow like tree to plant along the banks of a creek?
view the full question and answer

Care of a sedum indoors
December 16, 2007 - I have a coworker who has trusted her Sedum Burrito plant into my care because it is not doing well in her office. It appears to need repotting, as it is very crowded in the pot it came in and is dif...
view the full question and answer

Planting location of non-native Japanese maple in Toronto
May 22, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty, I am in the region of Toronto, Canada. I just bought from nursery a "Red Select" Janpanese Maple, about 2' tall, still in its 1' pot. I intended to plant it in my front yard ...
view the full question and answer

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