Contact Us Host an Event 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

Saturday - January 02, 2010

From: Lucas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Pollination of dwarf wax myrtles in Lucas TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I recently planted 3 dwarf wax myrtles then realized all were females. Do you know if the full-sized version can be used to pollinate the dwarfs? Any idea how close the pollinator needs to be?

ANSWER:

The truth of the matter is, all of the wax myrtle plants at the nursery probably do have berries, because they are all females. Customers generally want the berries, because of the attractions to birds, and you may find it difficult to locate a male for purchase.  They are reproduced by cloning, so that all the plants are females, exact copies of the parent plant. The "dwarf" version of Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) is actually not a different species, but rather a selection of lower-growing plants of the same species. If the dwarf and full-size plants are of the same species and bloom at the same time, there should be no problem. Are you sure your full-size plants are male?  As we mentioned, the plants at the nursery are likely all female; they have berries when they are placed in the nursery, because they have been pollinated in the growers' fields before being shipped to the nursery. However, comes the next Spring, with no nearby male, the females will have no berries, and will be indistinguishable from males. Both males and females bloom, only the pollinated female has berries. Generally, one male plant can pollinate any number of females within about a 40-ft. radius. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Transplanting adventitious shoots of a mountain laurel in San Antonio
August 20, 2009 - Is it possible to transplant branches (shoots) growing from a mountain laurel that was chopped down? Some are two years old and several feet tall (but not yet blooming) and some as small as a foot. ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with philodendron bipinnatifidum
July 08, 2008 - I have a philodendron bipinnatifidum (selloum) that is now over 20 years old. It has been growing like crazy for the past 2 months, but has been inundated with pests since January, when I repotted it ...
view the full question and answer

What to do with 200 yucca seedlings in Sandusky, OH?
August 31, 2013 - I have over two hundred 3 month old yucca seedlings from my last yr. Yucca plants. I soaked the the seeds for 24 hrs. planted them in trays and now they are abt. 2 inch tall. My question is, should I ...
view the full question and answer

Improving Bluebonnet seed contact with soil
November 06, 2015 - I have a five acre field in Blanco County, much of which is covered by bluebonnets. There are several species of native grasses as well. Would it be beneficial to disk or otherwise disturb the soil ...
view the full question and answer

Grafting edible plums onto Cherry Laurel in Austin
May 18, 2010 - Grafting edible plums onto Cherry Laurel - possible? Insane? What? Could I do that? Could I graft, say, Green Gage Plum, or Mexican Plum, or Saturn Peach, on a Cherry Laurel and have any success? I ha...
view the full question and answer

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