The Q&A Archives: leaves turn red and green and fall off

Question: I have 5 crape myrtle (natchitoches white) in my yard and at the present time they are dropping most of their leaves. The leaves that are still on the tree that look sick have red spots that turn mostly red with some small green spots left from the original leave color. I also have a few other (purple flowered)crape myrtles around the house without this problem, could you tell me what is causing the leaves to fall and if and what I can do to correct the problem?

Answer: Mark,

That is a common stress related symptom on crape myrtle. It may be due to dry conditions or even soggy conditions or fluctations between the two. Heat is also a factor when combined with the long summer season. In other words, at the end of summer as we approach fall some plants when still stressed will begin their fall leaf drop. A cool break with some rain will usually stop this at least until the real fall arrives! I would not worry about it much except to note that in future summers some good waterings of a large area around each plant on an infrequent basis can help.

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