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Keyword Search Results for:
Crape Myrtle

7 Found

Question: 89-5201
Our Crape Myrtle has what appears to be white fungus growing on the leaves. It has affected the flowering. How can we get rid of it? Huff, Douglasville, GA

Mort's Answer:
If there is a white mass at the joints, the Lagerstroemia indica has mealybug. Malathion should correct this. If the white powder is at the middle and end of the leaves, your Crepe or Crape myrtle has indeed a fungus. Captan, ferbam or benlate are all excellent fungicides. A home orchard spray will correct both the mealybug and the fungus. Follow directions on the labels.

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Question: 90-5201
We have two mature Crape Myrtles that are showing sawdust and holes in peeling bark. Our neighbor is also troubled with the same symptoms on smaller Crapes. What is it and how do we remedy the problem? Karen, AOL

Mort's Answer:
It appears from your description that the trees have earwigs. Mature trees can be mended with tree surgery. A leaf shaped incision that is contiguous is needed to cover the entire infected area. You may need an arborist to perform this procedure. All the brown wood must be removed from the area. If the earwigs completely encircle the inner bark, the trees will succumb. You can cut entire branches below the infected cambium. Younger Crapes will grow back easily. This may not be as easy with mature single stem trees. You can inject malathion in the holes in the meantime. If you decide to cut below the area, you should include spraying.

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Question: 91-5201
Can you help me with my Crape Mrytle and Bottlebrush? The new myrtles are 2-3 feet and the older are the same as the Bottlebrush at 5 feet. John, Brunswich, GA

Mort's Answer:
Lagerstroemia indica, which blooms white (alba), red (rubra) and purple (purpurea), can be cut to the ground, when they are only two or three years old. The 5 foot Crape Mrytle can be cut at the ends in the late summer, when the bloom is gone. Callistemon will grow in almost any soil, like the Lagerstroemia. C. rigidus grows 6-10 feet. C. coccineus to 15-25.C. lanceolatus 10-30. All three have the rich red spikes of stamens. C. speciosus grows 10-30 feet with yellow anthers inside the red stamens. I would not cut the bottle brush at all unless the branches become wild. These large plants can be cut in the fall, if needed. Crape Myrtle can be trained as a tree or grown as a large shrub like the bottlebrush.

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Question: 127-5201
Can I cut back my Crape Myrtle this fall. Some of the branches are dead. Selma, Farmington, AR

Mort's Answer:
It's important to remove all dead branches on any tree or shrub, whenever they appear. Young Lagerstroemia indica plants need to be cut back each fall to produce good flowers. Older crape myrtle can sustain good flowers without severe cut back each fall. Many folks like to train L. Indica like climbing roses since the branches can get 20' long. Trained crape has to be cut back each fall, as well.

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Question: 128-5201
I have two Crape Myrtles that are on each side of the driveway. The one on the shady side is doing much better than the one on the sunny side. They both came as off shoots from another plant. What could be the problem? Jerry, Clinton, MO

Mort's Answer:
I would guess that your shaded crepe is doing very well. The one in the sun is doing quite well. In the late fall, you can cut back the sunny one to the ground to help strengthen the roots. Eventually,they should both do equally as well. This plant (Lagerstroemia indica) will support the leaves and stems after two or three years of cutting it to the ground each fall.

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Question: 1027-4113
How far back can I cut my Crape Myrtle? I have five plants. One is six feet and the others are three to four feet tall. The taller one bloomed a purplish pink. I bought them from the National Arbor Day folks. Ed, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
L.indica grows to about twenty feet, is usually grown as a shrub, and is hardier than L.speciosa, which has just purplish flowers. My guess is that you have both species and the taller is speciosa. You can shape either as trees with four or five main trunks. You can also cut the smaller indica down to the ground the first two or three years to strengthen the roots.

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Question: 1193-4514
I have six Crape Myrtle that are about five feet tall. Can I cut them back now and should I protect them for the winter? Ed, Bosrah, CT

Mort's Answer:
Because we had such a prolonged winter past year, I would advise using a wind protection tent. You can use two by three stakes or laths. Place three in a triangle just outside the leaves. Wrap burlap and staple it to the wood stakes. You could cut a foot off the top now, to strengthen the stems. You should elect to shape the Lagerstroemia indica in the next two years to a bush or tree. Most folks like the three or four stemmed trunk. The single trunk is also attractive. Strong windy environments dictate multi stemmed trunks. A little lime each fall will go a long way. They prefer alkaline soil.

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