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

Friday - June 29, 2012

From: Prosper, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests
Title: Application of sprays to non-native Crape Myrtle from Prosper TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can applying a systemic insecticide/fungicide combo prevent or limit Crape Myrtle blooms? I have 5 large lavender Crapes that are not blooming or budding yet and this is the first time I have used a systemic on them. Applied it in late May. They do have new growth and are very full.

ANSWER:

 

Lagerstroemia indica (crape myrtle) is native to China, Japan and Korea and is therefore out of the realm of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants. We are committed to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those grow natively. This is a conservation issue, because plants native to an area will have become accustomed to the soils, rainfall and climate over centuries of experience.

From the United States National Arboretum, here are Questions and Answers on Crape Myrtle. From that article:

"My crapemyrtle is reluctant to bloom. What am I doing wrong?

Crapemyrtles flower most heavily in full, uninterrupted sunlight.  Even an hour of shade during the day will compromise flowering.  Frequent irrigation, lack of heat, and overfertilization promote vegetative growth at the expense of flowering.  In extreme drought conditions or cool, rainy summers, flowering may be delayed until the early autumn."

We also discourage spraying any kind of "...icide" to a plant without clear indications that it is needed.

 

 

 

More Pests Questions

Possible damage by invasive, non-native earthworms in compost
January 03, 2007 - I received a worm bin (vermicomposter) for Christmas. The instructions that came with the bin say to use the red wiggler worm (Eisenia foetida) and that it is okay if some of the worms go into your g...
view the full question and answer

Plants to repel mosquitoes from Leander TX
May 19, 2013 - What are the best plant for repelling mosquitoes in the Leander area? The land here is hilly and rocky.
view the full question and answer

Problems with Arizona Ash from Naco AZ
May 19, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty.. Live in southeast corner of Az. My Az. Ash is diseased. Just noticed leaves are curled, (still green) and when I open the leaf it has a zillion little white, what look like mites ...
view the full question and answer

Weedy buffalo grass from Dripping Springs, TX
March 07, 2013 - I have a buffalo grass lawn. It is thin and filled with weeds. I would like to find a solution to improve my lawn. I prefer a native grass but I need to be able to control the weeds and I am not ph...
view the full question and answer

Possible leaf cutter ants in Elgin, TX
December 08, 2014 - I've planted many beautiful native vines and flowering plants this fall. However, in the past week I've noticed something has been eating these plants, including coral honeysuckle vine, salvia, and ...
view the full question and answer

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