Trees and Shrubs forum: Raining under my Crape Myrtles

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 4, 2015 8:00 AM CST
I have just noticed this year (not very observant) that when I stand under the shade of my Crape Myrtles it feels like it is raining. If I am taking photos I notice the little moisture drops on my camera. What is that?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 4, 2015 9:28 AM CST
Is it sticky? Could be honeydew from aphids or some other honeydew producing insect. I've no experience with crape myrtles but that can happen with other overhead plants.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 4, 2015 12:36 PM CST
I get that too. Someone told me it was insect pee. Crying
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 4, 2015 12:41 PM CST
Well, I am going to have to look closer, I have seen no aphids or other insects and the stuff does not feel sicky.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Jul 4, 2015 1:11 PM CST
Apparently sharpshooters can "rain" honeydew from crape myrtle too - there's a video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc5ehSIRmCk
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 4, 2015 4:23 PM CST
Tomorrow I am going to take my telephoto camera out and scour the trees!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 6, 2015 3:02 PM CST
Whatever it is, it's also in hackberry & cherry laurel trees.
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 6, 2015 3:15 PM CST
I looked again over the past two days and found nothing, but I also did not notice the "rain" those two days.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jul 6, 2015 4:07 PM CST
I've wondered before if the trees were guttating on really hot days?
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 6, 2015 4:22 PM CST
I don't know what that is, but it sounds nasty! Rolling on the floor laughing
This article says trees can't create enough force to overcome the pull of gravity to force the moisture up.
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/causes-guttation-plants-50855.h...
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jul 6, 2015 4:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 7, 2015 5:05 AM CST
I'd wondered about guttation when you first posted but when I looked it up in relation to crape myrtle one site specifically said they aren't prone to it, although another showed a picture purporting to be dried guttation crystals on a crape myrtle. I think it's more likely to be insects. If you really wanted to go to town on finding out, you could put something white, like a sheet, on the ground and shake or hit a few branches and see if any insect falls out. You may have a hard time seeing sharpshooters, if that's what it is, while they're still in the plant.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 7, 2015 6:07 AM CST
I found this site that suggests it might be aphids.
https://ask.extension.org/questions/134295#.VZu4QPlViko
This site also suggests aphids.
http://maybellinesgarden.blogspot.com/2013/06/crepe-myrtles....
I have noticed an invasion lately of my Tropical Milkweed by orange aphids, but will have to look even closer on the crape myrtles for black or maybe green aphids?
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jul 7, 2015 6:12 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 7, 2015 6:23 AM CST
There's a specific crape myrtle aphid. Descriptions here:

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/trees/crapemyrtle_ap...
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/shrubs/note31/no...

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