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crape myrtle problems

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Kylec3, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Kylec3

    Kylec3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    okay, so last year we put in a smaller crape myrtle for a customer towards the end of the year in the fall...this year it never really bloomed....new growth would start and then dry up and fall off, started dropping leaves.....we werent happy with it so we replaces it with another 3gal crape myrtle...we bought it while it already had blooms on it...planted it...1st month...okay...2nd month...slowly declining...the blooms pop open but seem to shrivel up quickly...never get that full...this week i noticed leaves on the ground arounf it..and leaves starting to curl around the edges...there is irrigation in the beds...also a gutter a few feet from it....

    any ideas? it does have a few flowers...to me the leaves just look curled// dried up...but the soil around it is plenty moist and seems to be getting plenty of water
  2. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,253

    Crapes need a slightly acidic soil base something like 5.0-5.5pH. Give them a little 5-10-5 and keep soil slightly moist but not wet. They are fairly drought tolerant. They love sun. Finally don't baby them so much as they are a tough plant. If your soil is alkaline (use a pH meter for a close guess) apply a healthy dose of sheep manure or a little sulfur. Use a acid loving plant food.
    Hope this will help a little.
  3. johnsonslawnmanagement

    johnsonslawnmanagement LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 908

    Do a soil sample. Likely a fertility issue like stated above or possibly disease or fungus in soil. We had a similar issue that ended up being disease in soil. Killed anything planted there till we dug it out and replaced soil. Soil sample would tell all
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    surface moisture doesn't mean much to a tree... check deeper into the root zone, not around it... never water trees with sprinkler system as their main source of water... all trees need to be deep soaked periodically during the first summer season... I use a hose to saturate the basin around it...
  5. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I have found that humidity plays a big role considering an irrigation system around. If the water is hitting the foliage consistently, the theory of fungus play at hand. Most times in humidity and foliage contact, you will get burn that resembles plant shock. Smallaxe points out that the surface water may be fine but deeper roots are drying out. (A photo of the plant and the area would be helpful), however, I have noted that young trees-especially 3 gallon container grown plants are root bound upon purchase and often go through the plant shock period. At first, they look good......then defoliate.....then put back on foliage. Upon planting, I ruffle the root zone and apply upward slices in the roots to prevent compact strangulation. Then the other thing is aphid damage, thrip damage, and sometimes cotton scale. But to me......if foliage blow off is something that always occurs, then you may want to think about quick release fertilizers being applied if these trees are in the lawn setting. My last question is...............how hot did it get up there in Jersey this summer??? This plays a big deal with the problem with this tree.
  6. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Please get with me on the private message section. I need you to take some leaf, crown, trunk and soil line pictures. There are other things you could be witnessing but don't know without visual hints.

    Thanks. Green!

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