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Crape Myrtle tree looks like its dying.???



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DannyTroy

Boynton Beach, FL
Posts: 18
Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:39 am   Post subject: Crape Myrtle tree looks like its dying.???


Hello all. This is my first post on GardenStew and I'm hoping that some of you may be able to help me. I purchased my first house about 8 months ago and I'm learning as I go about this whole gardening deal.

I purchased a Crape Myrtle tree from my local nursery about two and a half months ago and planted it in my garden here in South Florida. It is about 9-10ft tall and came in a very large pot. I'm not sure of the amount of gallons. When i first planted it, the leaves were green and it seemed like it was doing pretty good. I noticed that it wasn't flowering and I just thought that it wouldn't flower this season. I then noticed, about 3 weeks ago, that the leaf tips were browning. It looks as though the tree is dying. I also notice a few small webs on some of the branches but I don't think that it is overrun with insects. I read that the browning leaves could be caused by tip blight so I purchased an organic fungicide and sprayed it on the tree...This was about a week and a half ago and I haven't noticed any improvements since. I scraped the bark on the tree and it is green as it should be.

I used to deep water the tree up until about 3 weeks ago when I read that it could be bad for the roots. Now I just let the sprinklers water it about 3x's/week for 15 min each day. It still looks like it's getting worse.

I'm completely stumped and I don't want my tree to die. Please help.


Crape Myrtle leaves 2 ( photo / image / picture from DannyTroy's Garden )






Crape Myrtle Leaves ( photo / image / picture from DannyTroy's Garden )






Crape Myrtle ( photo / image / picture from DannyTroy's Garden )




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carolyn

northern ohio
Posts: 6307
Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:43 am   


Hi, I don't know anything about these trees, we live in Ohio, but that looks like fertilizer burn to me. or perhaps a lack of water. I would not think that your sprinkler system would give it enough water on the timer it is set at, unless you are getting frequent rainfall already. I have never heard that deep watering is harmful, only too frequent of deep watering is what could be bad for it.

Nor does it look like an insect invasion, but double check for spidermites if they are a pest on these trees. They are very small, you will need a magnifying glass for them. They will leave a "gritty" texture to the leaves if they are there, and it will look as if there is a cloudy texture to the leaf if they are really bad. There will be very fine webs if they are there in abundance. A good hard spray of water to clean the leaves might help if there are insects on them. Insecticidal soap and water is helpful, also.

Good luck, I hope there is some more info or help from someone who has real experience with these trees.

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DannyTroy

Boynton Beach, FL
Posts: 18
Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:09 pm   


Thank you for your input Carolyn. I do believe the tree has a few spidermites since I have seen a couple of tiny webs...I'm almost positive that this isn't causing the leaves to die though. It is doing this on every single leaf on the tree and there are only about 3 little spider webs.


I'm not familiar with the fertilizer burn. I'm wondering if this could be the problem. I did fertilize the tree twice since I've had it. The first time when i planted it and the second time when I saw it start dying. I've done research since which suggests that I fertilize this tree twice a year. Obviously I won't be fertilizing again for quite some time.

Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated GardenStew.

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marlingardener
Central Texas, zone 8
Posts: 5144
Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:34 pm   


Hi Danny, and welcome to the Stew! Keep deep watering your crepe myrtle. It had lots of water at the nursery, and you deeply watered it when it arrived, then suddenly it was getting a sprinkling. Go ahead and give it a good drink, perhaps twice a week, depending on the heat and amount of wind you have.
We have loads of crepe myrtle trees here in Texas, and we have two here on the farm. The newer, showier varieties are not as hardy as the older types, but are great shrubs (yes, they are shrubs which are easily trained to tree form.)
I saw your gardens on your other post, and they are really very tropical and lovely!

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cherylad


Regular Plants Contributor

S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
Posts: 10811
Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:42 pm   


Yes.... more water, like you were doing before. Not the sprinkler.
We also have a few Crepe Myrtles. Three that are very old; one is about 8 years old and another just 2 years old. The youngest one is the only one blooming right now because I'm still babying it with a little more water than the others.
Good luck! Let us know how it's recovery is going.

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toni


Administrator
Plants Moderator
Regular Plants Contributor

North Texas, Zone 8a
Posts: 15041
Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:49 pm   


I'm guessing fertilizer burn also. The lack of blooms so far can be caused by too much water and fertilizer or not enough heat (lack of heat is probably not the problem where you live though). Also pruning at the wrong time of the year can result in few or no blooms.

Deep watering will produce stronger, deeper roots that they need to become drought tolerant when mature. Sprinkling 2-3 times a week for a few minutes trains the roots to stay just below soil surface where they dry out quicker and burn in the summer. Go back to deep watering for the first two years, a soaker hose circling the trunk will direct the water to it and not all over the rest of the bed, or you can get one of those tree root waterers that attach to the hose and are shoved into the ground.

Our two crepe myrtles are 25+ yrs old and thrive on the water that Mother Nature gives them and haven't been fertilized in oooooohhh, 25+ yrs. Wink They are both about to be covered with blooms because of the heat this month and are well over 30 feet tall.

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DannyTroy

Boynton Beach, FL
Posts: 18
Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:34 pm   


Thank you for the replies guys...and thank you for the compliments.

I will go back to deep watering the tree 2-3x's/week. I'll let you know the progress.

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AAnightowl

Missouri
Posts: 1285
Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:27 pm   


I have two crepe myrtle trees, one is very big and was here when I moved her back in the 80s. It didnt bloom for many years until my one dog started peeing on it about 6 or 7 years ago. Wink I let my present male dog pee on it if he wants to. Since then it has bloomed profusely each summer. It is not yet time for them to bloom here though. My new one is still a baby, but it was in bloom when I got it last summer. I sure hope your tree recovers, it looks lovely. My big one got injured a month or so ago, because I was burning brush too near it. I won't make that mistake again.

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cherylad


Regular Plants Contributor

S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
Posts: 10811
Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:30 am   


I just noticed today that the Crepe Myrtles down the highways are starting to bloom. Seems every road and every house around here have at least one of them.

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DannyTroy

Boynton Beach, FL
Posts: 18
Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:10 am   


They are pretty abundant in central Florida too...in south Florida, they are a lot more rare...it's one of the main reasons that I wanted it.

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DannyTroy

Boynton Beach, FL
Posts: 18
Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:54 pm   


After getting a little bit worse, I'm starting to see some new green growth on the tree. It looks pretty promising. I'll take a picture and post it when I get a chance.

Thanks everyone.

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toni


Administrator
Plants Moderator
Regular Plants Contributor

North Texas, Zone 8a
Posts: 15041
Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:09 pm   


Sounds like the tree is recovering, they go into shock when they are stressed so it does sometimes take a while to start seeing good signs.

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carolyn

northern ohio
Posts: 6307
Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:22 pm   


Congratulations. Glad to hear it's doing better.

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marlingardener
Central Texas, zone 8
Posts: 5144
Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:46 pm   


Danny, it's so refreshing to hear that advice was taken into consideration, and that plants are doing better! Thank you for updating us on your jasmine vine, and on your crepe myrtle.
When your garden is named "Horticultural site of the month" for your town, you will credit the Stew, won't you? Smile

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DannyTroy

Boynton Beach, FL
Posts: 18
Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:26 pm   


hahahahaha...Horticulture site of the month for Boynton Beach...that would be some honor considering that I was completely green when i started this garden a few months ago.

If that day came, I'd make sure that GardenStew took some credit.

Thanks guys!!

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