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Plant Diseases/crape Myrtle trees

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Question
I have 4 Crape Myrtle trees (2-Twilight, 2-Tuscarora).  They all about 3 feet tall.  I planted these trees about the beginning of June and also had put the soil food sticks.  I water the trees everyday but it seems like some of the leaves are turning yellow and bright orange color with little yellow/brown spots and then it falls off.  Not the entire tree, just different part of the tree leaves.

Please help.  Thanks
Gena

Answer
Dear Gena, Crape myrtles are fairly low maintenance trees with beautiful color.  I was a bit surprised that you have them in Virginia, since even in Texas they are the last trees to leaf out and the first ones to lose their leaves.  These trees should be planted in full sun, otherwise you will have few or no blooms.  It sounds like you may be getting your foliage, and possibly the trees themselves, too wet.  Be sure to water the trees at ground level and even for new plants I would suggest watering deeply about every two or three days.  If the trees are small, as in 3-5 gallon pot size which it sounds like yours are, you will only need to water about one minute to give the plant adequate water.  For larger trees, you just need to make sure the entire root ball gets water.  You probably don't need to spray the tree, but you could spray with NEEM if the spots persist.  Also make sure that you keep the dead leaves cleaned up as they will keep fungal spores that can re-infect the plant. Otherwise the leaf loss shouldn't be too damaging - it may even try to leaf back out this year.  I hope this information helps you.  Good luck, Melissa

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Melissa Johnston

Expertise

Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.

Experience

35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Organizations
Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

Publications
none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Education/Credentials
Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of Allexperts.com and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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