Hi,* I am new to the group, so I am sure you will be hearing alot from me.*
Last Sunday I purchased a Crape Myrtle bush for the front of my house and now it looks so sad.* The leaves are yellowing and then falling off.* The flowers on the bush are dried up and crispy.* I know the plant is getting enough water because I water it twice a day.* It is in a spot that once held a home to my Hydrangra, but relized it was to sunny and hot for the hydrangra so I moved it to the shade.* The spot gets bright light and direct sun light at the hottest time of the day for about 5 hours.* The guy at the nursery said the Crape Myrtle should do well in that spot.* I don't know if the weather has been too hot or the plant does not likes it's new home.* So my question is why do leaves yellow and fall off?* Thank you in advance for the help and advise.
I'm not sure where the Bay Area in California is as it has a long coast line, but unless you live in the desert and your crape is planted in sandy soil, you shouldn't be watering twice a day or even daily.* You are overwatering and that is what is causing the problem.* Check to see that it's not planted any deeper then it was in the pot it came in and water when the soil dries out slightly.* Be sure it's properly mulched.*
Thank you so much for the response.* I do live in the East Bay in the dessert area with Sandy soil and I did plant it just above the root ball.* I guess maybe I am watering it to much.* It has just been in the mid 90's and it looked droopy so I water it.* I will be sure to stop watering for a while and see what happens.* I haven't put the mulch on it as of yet, I ran out but I will get some today.* Thank you so much for your help.
Shelbsyd, you are very welcome!* The best thing you can do for your plants is add organic matter to sandy soil to improve the texture of the soil, improve water retention and add nutrients.* Compost that can be purchased in bags or made at home is great for that.* It's not recommended to just add compost to the planting hole as the plants will tend to keep their roots in just that area, but add it to the entire planting area or bed.* A 3" or 4" layer mixed into the soil would be wonderful for your plants.
Mulch will also help to retain moisture in the soil, keep soil temps more even and help keep weeds at bay.* At 2" or 3" layer of organic mulch such as shredded bark would be good and is important in sunny, dry and hot areas.
Btw, wilting and yellowing of leaves can be caused by overwatering as well as underwatering.* You might want to gently dig down as close to the rootball as possible to see how wet the soil is.* That will give you a better idea of what is happening.* Here's compost and mulch calculators so you'll know how much you need.
For compost I used the Miracle Grow compost with the 3 months slowof fertilizer release.* I will definitly check the soil line to see how wet or dry it is.* What is stinky as we speak my husband is putting an automatic sprinkler system in and he watered my crape myrtle.* He said it is getting pleanty of water today.* The poor plant.* I hope I can recover it.* Do you think I should cut the crispy flowers off of it?*
I can't find a Miracle Gro compost, but I do find a garden soil with added synthetic fertilizer.
They have an organic garden soil without the added synthetic fertilizers that I would consider using.* If you already have soil, why add more?* Just add organic matter to improve the soil you have.* There are many products in local garden centers that aren't a brand name and many are from local sources.* Less fuel to bring it to your local garden center.* :)
Generally it's best not to fertilize newly planted trees and shrubs.* Adding organics to the soil will feed the soil and the soil will feed the plants slowly and gently.* Synthetic fertilizers can cause rootburn and they feed the plant, not the soil.* Synthetics leave behind residual salts and are like steriods for your plants, causing a flush of lush growth that will attract insect pests. I use the slow release synthetics for my annual potted plants only.* Watering tends to help wash out the residual salts.* Crapes attract enough pests without any added help anyway.*:shock:
You can prune off the spent flowers if you like.* It might make it look better.* :)*