The Q&A Archives: Crape Myrtle problems

Question: I live in Portsmouth VA and I have one Crape Myrtle that is thriving and one near it that is not what can I do for the other one. I've dug around it and it is not root bound they are spreading out but it has not grown much at all. The other one has grown about 6 feet. I just got done trimming it back for the spring and I have put fertilizer sticks in the ground around it.

Answer: Failure to thrive can be caused by insufficient sunlight, poorly draining soils, lack of sufficient water or simply immaturity. If you are treating both your trees equally, and the growing sites and conditions are duplicated, your tree may just be taking extra time to become established. I would wait until after the normal bloom period and then prune them both back. Pruning will encourage new shoots, which may produce a second flush of bloom later in the summer. Pruning might also wake the slower growing one up and force new growth. let's hope so!

Best wishes with your trees!

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