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
1 rating

Sunday - April 12, 2009

From: Midwest City, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problems with Crape Myrtles in Oklahoma.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I planted Crape Myrtles,Catawba, that are about 4 feet high. I planted them last October. They all had new leaves on them a week ago. All of the leaves are now brown and shriveled up. There is a touch of green on some of the leaves but not much. Are they dead? Did this happen because of the cold? Will fertilizing with fish guts (not sure of product name) help them?

ANSWER:

Crape myrtle  Lagerstroemia indica , even though it appears to be the "State Shrub" of Texas, is not a native of the United States. From your description, it sounds like the new spring growth on your plants got hit pretty hard by the cold snap that passed through Texas and Oklahoma. Fish guts are not going to undo the damage caused by the cold. Your best bet is to watch and wait to see if the plants recover on their own.

By the way, we would be remiss if we didn't mention that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Plants native to an area are already adapted to the conditions by millennia of experience and will require less water, fertilizer and maintenance. Crape myrtles are native to southeast Asia, and are therefore out of our range of expertise.

These two websites can give you more information about Lagerstroemia indica:

Floridata

University of Georgia Extension

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Verticillium wilt in catalpa and maple
July 17, 2008 - On Monday - July 07, 2008, you answered a question about a catalpa and maple with the same problem--an entire branch died, and then more of the tree died. And both trees came from the same nursery. Th...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy hedge resistant to verticillium wilt
September 27, 2011 - I am looking for an evergreen, fast-growing privacy hedge (over 6') that is resistant to verticillium wilt and has low water requirements. I live in Monrovia, CA and have to replace hopseed bushes w...
view the full question and answer

Problems with red oak from Austin
July 31, 2013 - I planted 3 Texas Red Oaks several years ago. The trees are in a tight cluster just a few feet apart. At the end of last summer, one of them began to develop brown spots and yellowed leaves. This summ...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of oak wilt in red oak in Austin
December 25, 2010 - I planted a Red oak tree in Austin January 2008. It was container grown but decent size, over 15ft tall. This summer (2010) its leaves turned color as if it were fall and started dropping. I starte...
view the full question and answer

Ring of small holes around pecan tree branches
May 05, 2009 - I live outside Cooper, TX and I have a pecan tree about 15 years old, which I just noticed has little round holes (about the size of a pencil) going around the branches. It branches out about 3 feet ...
view the full question and answer

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