Ask a Question forum: crape myrtle's leaves curling

Views: 1077, Replies: 17 » Jump to the end
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
VEGAS702
Apr 22, 2016 8:38 PM CST
Hello, I bought two crapes about three weeks ago. One is about 8-10ft tall twilight and the other smaller maybe 2 ft Tuscarora. I planted both in the ground with organic miracle grow soil. They are in sunny area full sun 1pm-5pm, they'll get more sun once summer hits. I am in zone 9a. My twilight seems to be doing okay although there's yellowing of the leaves and no new growth. My Tuscarora has some leaves that tend to fold and wither. I water maybe three times per week. Some leaves perk up while others just die off. The only thing I can think that's going on with them is transplant shock. I wasn't aggressive with the roots upon planting. Is it just not warm enough yet? Too much water? Not enough water? Please help with any thoughts or suggestions. Also, there's no pests or mildew. Thanks!

Thumb of 2016-04-23/VEGAS702/9afc0e

Thumb of 2016-04-23/VEGAS702/fa15d3
Thumb of 2016-04-23/VEGAS702/fd55cf
Thumb of 2016-04-23/VEGAS702/09af86

-VEGAS702-
Name: Art
Florissant, MO (Zone 6b)
Hummingbirder Annuals Bee Lover Butterflies Garden Photography Seed Starter
Garden Ideas: Level 1
ArtD
Apr 22, 2016 11:54 PM CST
Welcome! Vegas702

Well, several things come to mind. First, curling or folding leaves is often caused by either not enough or too much water. I wouldn’t think you should need to water three times a week, unless you’re not watering deep enough in the first place. If you’re sure that you are watering deep enough, then you may be watering too often.

Another possibility is lack of nutrients. The organic Miracle-Gro soil you used contains very little fertilizer. Many of the nutrients in organic soils have to be converted into inorganic forms by soil bacteria and fungi before the plants can use them. For that reason, the nutrients are typically released rather slowly. You might try giving your plants a little Miracle-Gro water soluble, all purpose, plant food to see if that helps.

The third thing I’m wondering about is that white wall the plants are so near. Could they be getting too much reflected heat from that wall?

Hope something here is helpful,

Art
[Last edited by ArtD - Apr 23, 2016 8:22 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1125177 (2)
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Moonhowl
Apr 23, 2016 10:07 AM CST
@VEGAS702 Welcome!

The Tuscarora will top out at somewhere around 15 feet tall and wide. From what I can see in your picture, it is planted way too close to your house. It is a very young tree at 2ft tall or so.

Usually it is not recommended that you replace the native soil, but you can add soil if necessary. I do agree that problems could be from radiant heat and watering. Crape Myrtles prefer acidic soil, but with care will do well in most soils once established.

The Twilight will mature at 20 to 25 ft tall with a 10 to 15 ft spread.

http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/Twilight-Crape-Myrtle.htm

http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/Tuscarora-Crape-Myrtle.htm

Some general info on care

http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Crepe-Myrtle

http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/faqs/crapemyrtlefaq2.html


and a bit of area specific info

http://xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com/2015/01/crape-myrtle-...

I hope these help.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Apr 23, 2016 10:15 AM CST
That was my first thought - they look like they are being cooked. Chances are the spot you planted them in is much sunnier than the nursery was. Moving them immediately to that stucco wall was a little too hot much too fast - especially last week.

Watering 3 times a week until they are established is probably okay, especially if the temps in Las Vegas continue to be hot. If new foliage is coming out healthy, you are okay. They might lose a lot of those old leaves but new growth will assure you that things are good. Did you dig a hole twice the size of the plants and mix in some compost to hold some moisture? Or just the organic miracle gro? If not and they are planted in the native soil, you may have to keep up the 3 waterings a week.

Were they root bound in the nursery pots? If so, it will take awhile to break out of those root balls - that may be why they aren't getting enough water also. Buying big plants is always rewarding as it gives instant results but, in the long run, not the best choice. It takes bigger plants longer to establish.

They could use some fertilizer - something with some iron in it.

Daisy

edited: Hmmm... I assumed that one was a bush type. They are going to get awfully big for that small space.
[Last edited by DaisyI - Apr 23, 2016 10:17 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1125548 (4)
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
VEGAS702
Apr 23, 2016 10:31 AM CST
Thanks guys! Okay, I really didn't think about the radiant heat from the wall... That could really be a problem. I may need to relocate to a more open area I have on the other side of the house. I also, figured as long as I keep them shaped vertical and it can grow towards the front it would be okay. Everything in my housing area is vertical. Every other tree here is thin and vertical. Also, it is in native soil along with the organic soil mixed in. I have a closed container filled with soil and coffee grinds. Should I place that around the bases of the crepes to hopefully add some extra nutrients? And the Tuscarora does tend to perk up when I water it. The nursery told me to plant in full sun that they love the heat here. That area gets really hot sun in the summer. I wonder if there is a screen or something I can place on the wall behind them to help keep the wall cooler.
Thank you all for he help. I'll update in the next few weeks on how they are.
-VEGAS702-
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Apr 23, 2016 10:38 AM CST
Once the trees adjust to the heat and sun, they will thrive. Don't worry about covering the wall. You will lose some old leaves but new leaves will be okay as they were 'born' into that environment.

Daisy
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Apr 23, 2016 10:39 AM CST
Try a piece of shade cloth draped from the wall out over the trees. This will shade both the trees and the wall from that blazing hot, dry sun. You may need to leave the shade cloth on for the whole summer, so you don't cook the plants. Make it as inconspicuous as possible? Or maybe get one of those shade cloth "sails" and set it up on some poles so it looks nice but still shades the plants.

Those plants will establish if you help them out but I'm definitely thinking it's too darn dry and sunny for them there, right now. When you water, spray the leaves as well as the soil around the plant, too.

I always use soluble Quick Start fertilizer when I plant new plants. It is supposed to stimulate the plant to make new roots and this of course will help it get established quicker.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Apr 23, 2016 10:40 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1125585 (7)
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
VEGAS702
Apr 23, 2016 10:51 AM CST
Okay, sounds good. I'll go to the nursery and pick up some quick start and look at their shade clothes. Thanks again for the help!
-VEGAS702-
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
VEGAS702
Apr 23, 2016 10:53 AM CST
Oh btw! In the future I have seen planting videos and people are slicing the root balls vertically every 4-6 inches when they are root bound. Is this a good idea? I wasn't aggressive with either one of the root balls of the crepes. I just lightly used pressure to loosen the ball up. I always thought it would cause added stress to the plant. Especially large ones..
-VEGAS702-
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Apr 23, 2016 10:58 AM CST
That works for some plants with masses of fine roots, but I'd advise against it with a small tree with larger roots. What you did, or maybe just easing out some of the larger roots by hand that are going around and around inside the pot is enough.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
VEGAS702
Apr 23, 2016 11:22 AM CST
Thanks dyzzy;)
-VEGAS702-
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 23, 2016 12:26 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome! I had 5 crepe myrtles planted in a row, 3 feet from my house much like yours. Not by me but the original owners. I tried for many years to grow them vertically. They did grow uo over the top of our house. But they were terribly miss shapened. And they cligged my rain gutters.

4 have since been removed. These are full size trees and grew leggy and weird with the 2-story house behind it. They left one on the corner of the house as it has more room to spread which it has beautufully. Planting in a wide open space where yiur new trees can spread in all their glorious beauty gets my vote. Thumbs up
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
VEGAS702
Apr 23, 2016 1:02 PM CST
Thanks shady for the reply- lucky we don't not have gutters on our houses here because it never rains. It has another 10-12 ft before it clears the roof. I think it will be okay with it only have two trunks.


Thumb of 2016-04-23/VEGAS702/6f8c33

-VEGAS702-
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Apr 23, 2016 1:28 PM CST
I went back and looked at your original pictures, and I must say, they are very close to that wall, considering how big they will be when grown.

I'd have to agree with Cheryl, that maybe you should consider moving them at least further out, or away altogether from that wall. If you want something to shade and beautify the wall, how about a trellis and a vine?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 23, 2016 5:37 PM CST
Thumb of 2016-04-23/ShadyGreenThumb/06b614

Here were the old Crepe Myrtles. See how leggy they are? They shaded each other and did not have room to grow next to the house.n They leaned foreward or at least appeart that way as I had to cut the branches that touch the house making it unbalanced. I do not trim these as I believe they are beautiful trees on their own but I had to keep it away from the house. I tried my best over the years to make it work. But they weren't happy there at all. The one on the left corner is the only one left now. It is doing great but truth be told, it is leaning more over the driveway because that is where all the free space is. These trees need to be unblocked to be come the true beauties that they are. ETA Also remember their root structure is rather large on the surface. Most of my roots went into the lawn. But I wonder how many are actually under the house??

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
[Last edited by ShadyGreenThumb - Apr 23, 2016 5:43 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1125988 (15)
Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a)
VEGAS702
Apr 23, 2016 5:43 PM CST
That's your home shady? I see what you mean... You have to keep them really vertical and they can't grow wide. I may end up relocating mine.
-VEGAS702-
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 23, 2016 5:51 PM CST
I tried to trim them upward for nearly 20 years! I loved them. I wanted to make it work. Honest. But at some point it is going to grow outward. And it grew outward into the first story of my house. At that point instead of growing up it wanted out. Shrug! So the 29 year old trees came out. Sad
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Moonhowl
Apr 23, 2016 7:31 PM CST
Just a couple thoughts..really hot sun and full sun aren't exactly the same thing. Yes crape myrtles like full sun but they would not thrive out in open desert. They enjoy a 2 to 4 inch layer of mulch over the roots to help keep the roots cool in summer and protected in winter. Just remember to keep the mulch a few inches back from the trunk to prevent rot and discourage pests.

The other, when a tree is described as having a spread of 15 to 20 feet, that means it needs to be roughly 7.5 to 10 feet away from walls other trees etc. in order to have room for roots to spread, limbs to fill out and air to circulate.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by nativeplantlover and is called "Bumble Veronica Pink"