Problem with New Crape Myrtle planted - Knowledgebase Question

austin, Te
Question by rogerbh
October 14, 2010
We planted a 30 gallon Natchez crape myrtle 5 days ago. We have solid rock, limestone and clay in our part of NW Austin so backfilled the hole with a mix of native texas soil, organic humus and some compost. The plant does not look to be doing too well. The leaves have turned a reddish color and have dried and are falling off. Is this normal transplant shock or is the plant dying? what can we do?


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Answer from NGA
October 14, 2010

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What you describe sounds like transplant shock and until the roots become established in their new home, the tree is likely to look droopy and even lose some leaves. Once it settles in, it should perk up but you probably won't see any positive signs until the new growth emerges in the spring. There are only two things to be aware of when planting a tree or shrub: make sure it is sitting at the same soil level as it was in the nursery container, and be sure to water deeply once each week to encourage healthy root growth. I make a watering well or watering basin beneath my new trees. Fill the basin with water, allow to drain, then fill it a second time. Do this once a week. Watering in this manner will concentrate the moisture over the root system and allow it to trickle down and wet the entire root mass. Best wishes with your new crape myrtle!

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