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Can I save my dying/dead Crepe Myrtle?


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Ctina1
New Jersey
Posts: 7
Posted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:23 pm   Post subject: Can I save my dying/dead Crepe Myrtle?


I bought a blooming Crepe Myrtle last month to plant in memory of my 20 year old cat that recently passed away. Unfortunately I have not planted it yet and it's been very hot. I've been good about watering it and had planned to plant it this week. I went away last weekend and when I returned the Crepe Myrtle has dried up leaves that are dropping off. I have put the plant into a larger container and filled it with water which is covering the roots. Can I save this beautiful shrub? Any other suggestions?
Please help
Thanks
Ctina




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toni


Administrator
Plants Moderator
Regular Plants Contributor

North Texas, Zone 8a
Posts: 15253
Posted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:42 pm   


What's the temperature been up there lately? Crepe Myrtle requires lots of hot sun, if the temperatures are dropping where you are it could be in the early stage of dormancy.

Most likely tho, it's been in that pot for way too long, the roots are under stress from that and the fact that in a pot that is too small you sometimes can't give a plant enough water to keep it healthy unless you water every day or sometimes twice a day because there is not enough soil to hold the water the plant needs.
By putting it in a larger pot the soil will retain more water for the roots to take up and it should be okay. I would let it sit in the new pot for a few days to recuperate from the stress of getting too dry over the weekend, then plant it in the ground.

Check the roots when you remove it from the pot to make sure they are not girdling....growing round and round themselves as sometimes happens when a plant has been in a pot that is too small too long...that will kill a plant. You can gently spread them apart while planting and once they have lots of room to spread out there shouldn't be a problem.

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Ctina1
New Jersey
Posts: 7
Posted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:19 pm   


Thank you for your reply. It's been very hot and dry here in NJ, unusually Hot!
Do you mean I should keep it in the water for a few days? Or replant into a bigger pot before planting it in the ground? The roots are visible and it seems there is barely any dirt at all, it's possible it's pot bound or girdling as you mentioned, should I bring it back?
I left it in the pot I bought it in and put that in a larger pot and covered the roots w/ water.
Thanks again
Ctina

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calinromania

Oradea, Romania
Posts: 1549
Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:17 am   


If u plan to have it directly in the garden, why not just go ahead and plant it right away.
trees do much better in the soil than in any pot.
i would plant it, making sure i spread the roots (not leave them as they are in the pot, all entangled and strangling each other).
Calin

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cherylad


Regular Plants Contributor

S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
Posts: 11113
Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:26 pm   


Putting the original pot in a bigger pot isn't going to help if it's rootbound. Either completely repot it in a bigger pot... or plant it in the ground.

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marlingardener
Central Texas, zone 8
Posts: 5324
Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:37 pm   


Ctina,
Your crepe myrtle should be fine. Plant it in the ground now, making sure that the roots spread out, as Cheryl suggested. Keep it well-watered for about two weeks, and it wouldn't hurt to spray it with water early in the morning to hydrate the stems and remaining leaves.
Crepe myrtles are hardy shrubs, and can stand a lot of abuse. After all, they grow like weeds here in Texas!

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Ctina1
New Jersey
Posts: 7
Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:34 pm   


Thank you for all your replies. I will plant it in the ground now and keep you all posted. I hate to loose this special plant!
And if it can survive in Texas heat, it should survive here! Smile)

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Ctina1
New Jersey
Posts: 7
Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:11 pm   


Thank you for all your help. I planted the crape myrtle, fed it with a good dose of miracle grow, it dropped all it's leaves and thankfully came back. It has all new beautiful shiny leaves.
I'm so glad I posted my question here!

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toni


Administrator
Plants Moderator
Regular Plants Contributor

North Texas, Zone 8a
Posts: 15253
Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:18 pm   


Yea, good news about the Crepe Myrtle. It will continue to grow strong roots over the winter then should come back a beauty next spring. In a couple of years you won't have to worry about watering it at all if it's in the ground, they thrive on neglect and just the water Mother Nature gives them.

Can we see a photo of it?

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marlingardener
Central Texas, zone 8
Posts: 5324
Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:26 pm   


I'm so happy your crepe myrtle made it! As Toni said, the roots will continue to develop and next spring you'll see new leaves and probably some blooms.
Don't fertilize it any more this year--tender new growth may get winter killed. It wouldn't hurt to mulch around the crepe myrtle--the mulch will keep the soil temperature more even, and also retain moisture.
And we want a photo, please!

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Ctina1
New Jersey
Posts: 7
Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:43 pm   


I'll be happy to post a picture, just sorry I didn't take one when it looked dead, you wouldn't believe the before and after.

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Ctina1
New Jersey
Posts: 7
Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:59 pm   


My photo is over 2 mg and this website won't allow me to upload a file that size. If you'd like I can email you directly...just let me know your email address(s).
Sorry Sad

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Frank


Administrator

Originally Galway, Ireland
Posts: 14872
Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:34 am   


Hi Ctina, have a read of this topic http://www.gardenstew.com/about4114.html It should help with resizing.

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Ctina1
New Jersey
Posts: 7
Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:19 pm   


Ok, here's the photo of my Crepe Myrtle. As you can see it has all new leaves and is nice and healthy. I will make sure to mulch it well for winter.
Thank you to all who posted your suggestions.
Ctina


Crepe Myrtle ( photo / image / picture from Ctina1's Garden )

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