Help with my Crepe Myrtle.

Jsc12August 10, 2014

I'm in zone 6, planted 2 Natchez Crepe Myrtles recently, water them everyday and the one isn't doing so well. The leaves are turning yellow and red and leaves are drooping. It gets plenty of sunlight, and Miracle-Gro 1x a week. Don't know why it's not doing as well as the other Crepe. If anyone can let me know what I could do to give it a boost and keep it healthy I would appreciate it thanks!

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Only water once a week and stop fertilizing them.
You are killing them.
Leave them alone.
If it rains, do not water.
Leave them be.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:39PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Yes, stop with the fertilizer.

Check the moisture of the original rootball of the failing tree. It's either soaked or dry. Stick your finger in it to determine which. If dry, drizzle water directly onto the rootball.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 3:25PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

CrApe myrtles are drought-tolerant plants. The only way they'd need to be watered every day is if they were newly planted in pure sand. Longer (deeper), less frequent watering is much better than shorter (quick), frequent watering. Use your finger and poke it down two to three inches into the soil to gauge soil moisture. If you planted an intact rootball, check inside the rootball as well as in the surrounding soil (different soil textures can result in different drainage characteristics). The soil's surface should be allowed to begin drying in between waterings.

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting a Tree or Shrub - see section 12

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 3:26PM
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Thanks so much! I'll do that.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 4:45PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

and never forget.. they are not children.. they do not need to be fed ..... they may never.. ever.. need to be fert'd again ...

especially if they are planted in a lawn that is fertilized ...

if you think something is missing from the soil .. have a soil test done.. and act accordingly ...


    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:27PM
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We have clay soil, so I don't know if that's affecting the crepe either. I'm not sure how adaptable they are in different soils.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:32PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Crape myrtles do fine in clay soil. Clay is the norm around here and crape myrtles are everywhere.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:49PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Drought-tolerant trees tolerate drought *only* after they establish a sturdy root system in their planting site.
In general, that can require1 or 2 years of regular irrigation as the gardener works toward a "normal" irrigation schedule for that particular kind of plant

In the several months following planting, the roots of drought-tolerant trees are gradually extending outward from the root ball.

So early on, the key is to water the rootball more often than the surrounding soil. (Butt that assumes the planting hole was filled with water and allowed to drain - twice -- before the tree was set in place.)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:14AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Crape myrtles are fast growers. Only a very very large one with a relatively small rootball at transplant would need two years of supplemental watering. Even a newly planted one shouldn't need daily watering, and would be likely to suffer because of it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 9:24PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA
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