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

Tuesday - March 08, 2011

From: Bay Point, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Control of suckers on non-native crepe myrtle from Bay Point, CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I wrote to you a while back and haven't heard back. I wanted to know if Naphthalene Acidic Acid will keep the suckers on my Crepe Myrtle at bay? And if so, where might I find it? Thank you.

ANSWER:

We're sorry you didn't hear from us. We try to answer questions within a day or two of receipt, so somebody goofed somewhere alone the line. First, we want to tell you that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native to North America and to the place where the plants are being grown. Lagerstroemia indica, Crape Myrtle, originated in Asia, and has been introduced to moderate climates everywhere. Furthermore, it has been widely hybridized, which makes it even harder for us to figure out what to tell you. From Gardening Know How, this article on Tree Sucker Removal and Tree Sucker Control can give you some more information. We had never heard of the acid you mentioned, but research told us it is used as a root stimulant. Those suckers are coming from the roots, put root stimulant on the suckers, and you will probably get more of them, not less. Furthermore, we don't like the idea of acid anything being used in gardens. It's bad for the environment, bad for the plant and bad for anyone handling it. Your tree may be under stress of some sort, which will cause it to sucker out to potentially make more food for the plant. Address the stress situation, which may be over-watering, over-fertilizing or damage to the tree from lawnmowers or weed trimmers. To deal with the suckers, use long-handled nippers, and get as far down in the dirt as you can and nip those suckers off. If the tree is standing in grass, you can mow them.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native indoor palm in Guilford CT
April 08, 2012 - My question is I have an indoor palm plant that I have had for 7 yrs. It has grown from about a 5" plant to about 3' tall plant. The past few weeks the leaves are turning yellow & brown and lost abo...
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native weeping willow
September 18, 2008 - I have a weeping willow tree that is approximately 6 years old..The problem is a fibrous growth is growing between the trunk & the bark -pushing the trunk & bark away from each other..Not sure what it...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on non-native Chinese pistashe tree yellowing in San Antonio TX
August 11, 2010 - My chinese pistashe tree leaves are turning yellow. The tree is about 25 years old. the last time it did this I applied some iron granules into the ground around it. However I have forgotten how mu...
view the full question and answer

Why are the leaves on my Laurel hedge turning brown in Everett, WA?
February 22, 2010 - Our laurel hedge seems to have brown leaves on the top of the bush. We haven't had a freezing winter so we are trying to figure out why some of the leaves are brown.
view the full question and answer

Could ammonia harm poisonous, non-native oleander in Bay Point CA
December 20, 2009 - Could ammonia harm my Oleander plant? I have been spraying ammonia under it to keep neighborhood cats from using the soil under the plant as a sand box. If so, do you have any suggestions as to what...
view the full question and answer

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