Ask a Question forum: Most of the Crape Myrtles around here are still dormant

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SamHobbs
Jun 25, 2016 7:37 PM CST
The City of Los Angeles planted two young Crape Myrtles in our parkway about a year and a half ago, so this is the second summer for them. The first (last) spring they had already begun to make flowers by now. This season (it is nearly July), they have done nothing; no growth, no flowers, no change. I think I have watered them enough.

Here is the important part. Across the street from us is a large electrical power station (technically called a Receiving Station). There are a couple dozen Crape Myrtles over there too, between their wall and the sidewalk. Except for one of them, they are the same. No flowers and no growth that I can see. I rode my bicycle around and I saw only one other Crape Myrtle with flowers elsewhere in the neighborhood.

What is the likely explanation? Is it lack of water or is it normal for them all to be dormant like this? If it is not likely to be water then I won't increase the amount of water; I will water them but not more than I did last year. If I need to water them more then it will help to know that. It was over 100 Fahrenheit a couple days last week and will be again for a few days. I will certainly water them enough to keep them alive. Hopefully in a couple of years their roots will be grown enough that they can get water themselves from our sprinklers.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jun 25, 2016 8:09 PM CST
Hi SamHobbs, Welcome!

Crepe Myrtles (Lagerstroemia) love heat so I don't think the 100ยบ temp's have anything to do with lack of blooms but I guess it could possibly be due to other weather conditions like possibly not enough moisture. I wonder if perhaps they were in bloom earlier last year (right after planting) because they were greenhouse grown with higher humidity levels? Once established, they are drought tolerant but they love high humidity. They may just be slow in setting blooms for some reason this year; I've seen that happen even here in Florida at times but I have no clue why they would bloom earlier some years than others. Maybe those trees will surprise you and pop into full, glorious bloom in the next few weeks.
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Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 25, 2016 8:19 PM CST
When you say no growth, do you mean no leaves? As in bare?
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Jun 25, 2016 10:29 PM CST
If your answer to Daisy's question is no leaves, my answer will not apply!
But if you have leaves and you are waiting on flowers some varieties do not bloom until almost July. If you see any small green balls on the tips that would be blooms forming. If no green balls but you have leaves, then are the trunks and wood tan or grey? Or are they sooty like charcoal coloring in spots? And if you go up to the wood do you see lots of individual white flecks about the size of a sharpened pencil lead? If yes they have the scale that has been affecting crepes recently. They would need a systemic. They may still flower this year but late because of the scale. Although you see the scale on trunks and branches it gets all the way in the tips and will get worse with time. I treated mine once and thought it would be a yearly thing, but it has been fine the last two years. I believe it is too late to treat now, you might be able to in fall. Hopefully you have leaves and it is a July blooming variety. A picture would be helpful.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 27, 2016 10:41 AM CST
Why is the city installing plants that need to be watered? Isn't CA having a water shortage/crisis?
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