The Q&A Archives: Crape Myrtle Has Brown Tips On Leaves And Has Not Bloomed Yet.

Question: I planted a Watermelon Crape Myrtle tree in the spring of 2001. It bloomed late in the season last year but has not bloomed yet this year and it is now mid-August. It doesn't seem to be growing much so I haven't pruned it yet. Also, the leaf tips are brown. I water deeply twice per week. Any suggestions?

Barbara Johnston

Answer: Crape Myrtles are usually reliable summer bloomers, but it can sometimes take them a year to become established in a new home. They thrive in full sun, and prefer rich, well-draining soil. Crape Myrtles bloom on new wood, so the best time to prune is during the winter. Watering twice each week might be too much for your tree. In fact, heavy watering can stunt growth and retard blooming. Browning leaf tips could indicate over-watering, or could be the result of over-fertilization. Cut down on the watering frequency, providing one deep soaking per week during the hottest months of the year. Prune your tree back this winter to encourage new flowering stems and it should perform well for you next summer. Hope so!

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