The Q&A Archives: Absence Of Flowers On Crepe Myrtle in the Desert

Question: My Crepe Myrtle shrub is now 5 yrs. old. It never does well in the hot, Arizona summer, and the flowers are small and sparse. I try to water it "alot", but it continues to look dried out and about to die. Any advice would be appreciated.

Answer: Crape myrtle is a marginal plant in the low desert and it's not surprising that it's struggling. It sounds as if your plant is suffering from salt burn (dried out even though you water). Since it's close to death anyway, it might be better to replace it with a plant better adapted to our conditions. Contact Goodyear's Water Department and ask them for a copy of Plants for the Desert Southwest, produced by the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association. It's free and contains photos and info on plants that do well here. Good luck!

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