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Avatar for doodah46
Mar 14, 2017 2:37 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Steve Arnold
CA (Zone 10a)
I have a small dwarf crape myrtle that I potted 2 years ago. It is kind of scraggly but I was hoping that once it "took" it would start improving. It is now coming out of dormancy. Many of the new leaves are curling up and many buds on the plant are extremely small. I live in the Southern California desert and by the time July rolls around I shade it with an umbrella. My real concern is why the brand new leaves are curling up.
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Mar 14, 2017 3:04 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Vermiculture Garden Research Contributor
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Ukraine Garden Sages
We had a thread about this last summer that you should check out. I think your answer is there.

The thread "crape myrtle's leaves curling" in Ask a Question forum
Avatar for doodah46
Mar 15, 2017 7:59 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Steve Arnold
CA (Zone 10a)
Thanks Dave,
I read through that entire thread and it appeared to be in reference to full size crape myrtles planted in the ground. And apparently they were planted too close to a wall or building. Didn't seem to apply to my situation.
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Mar 15, 2017 8:03 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Vermiculture Garden Research Contributor
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Ukraine Garden Sages
If that potting soil is 2 years old, I would refresh it by repotting it into entirely new fresh potting soil. I would go so far as remove all the old potting soil and hose off the roots of the plant before putting it back in. I'd probably also do quite a bit of selective pruning to remove some of the growth to prompt it to make new branches.
Avatar for doodah46
Mar 15, 2017 8:06 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Steve Arnold
CA (Zone 10a)
Thanks for the quick reply. I can do that but is it safe now that the plant is no longer dormant?
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Mar 15, 2017 8:07 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
No, actually, it does apply. A potted plant in the desert. The roots are being cooked.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Avatar for doodah46
Mar 15, 2017 8:10 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Steve Arnold
CA (Zone 10a)
It's not that hot right now and the new leaves are just opening up.
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Mar 15, 2017 8:17 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Vermiculture Garden Research Contributor
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Ukraine Garden Sages
I would do the repotting right away. But that's just me.

The fact that it's out of dormancy is one reason why I suggest a light trimming afterwards, to help it recover. After you repot it, give it plenty of water so that it flows through the hole (you do have good drainage in that pot, I assume!)
Avatar for doodah46
Mar 15, 2017 9:44 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Steve Arnold
CA (Zone 10a)
Thanks Dave,

I'll give it a try. Probably half the soil in the pot has been in the pot with other plants. I have used Miracle Grow and Bayer systemic fertilizer and pest control for trees and shrubs. I will try your suggestion and let you know how things turn out.
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