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

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

Native habitate sunlight as opposed to artificial light
March 26, 2006 - Does a plant grow best in sunlight or artificial light?
view the full question and answer

Information about Lady Lupine (Lupinus villosus)
April 20, 2008 - Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, Lady Lupine grows in our yard in northeast Florida, and I would like to learn more about it, especially the stages it goes through, like now the purple petals themselves are c...
view the full question and answer

How close to a male tree will a new female persimmon need to be planted to ensure pollination in Austin, TX?
June 17, 2009 - I have a male Texas Persimmon in the back corner of my yard. I would like to plant a female Texas Persimmon in the front yard, more than 100 feet away? How far away do you think they should be place...
view the full question and answer

Final size of a Texas mountain laurel
August 11, 2014 - I have purchased a Texas Mountain Laurel. The plant tag says it will grow 25 to 35 feet. LBWF plant data base says 10 to 15 feet. Which data should I go with? It's either plant close but not close to...
view the full question and answer

Planting yucca seeds in Illinois
August 17, 2008 - My neighbor gave me a few pods (5) off of her Yucca plant which have lost its bloom for the year, how do I transplant them, in the ground or root them in water first?
view the full question and answer

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