Crape Myrtle dropping leaves

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Crape Myrtle dropping leaves

Post  Chisky on Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:06 am

I bought a small Crape Myrtle at the Bonsai Show at the Chicago Botanic Gardens last week. It is pretty and is blooming. I've been thinking about getting into bonsai and decided to do so. I ordered some books but all the information I have so far is from the internet.

Today I went out to water and mist my plant. It is in the 90's here and sitting in an eastern window box on my porch. When I bumped the tree with my hand while watering the other plants that are near it some leaves fell off. They seemed very dry. I watered it well and then misted it.

I'm learning and I don't want to lose my little tree after only one week. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do?

Chisky
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Re: Crape Myrtle dropping leaves

Post  Mitch Thomas on Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:06 am

It may have gotten to hot, mine prefer some shade especially in the heat of the day. I would place the pot in a shallow tray of water for a day or so. Sometimes the wilted leaves will rehydrate. Then move to a shady spot and keep it well watered in they like a lot of water when it's hot!

Mitch

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Re: Crape Myrtle dropping leaves

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:57 am

Be careful watering your CM. Always check the soil before watering. I use a meat skewer pushed into the soil. Don't water if it is wet. More bonsai are killed by too much water rather than too little. When you water pour water into the top until it comes out the bottom, do this three times.
The first thing people want to do when a plant looks sick is to water more and isn't always the solution.
If the tree had been grown in shade by a commercial nursery, exposure to direct, hot sun could have fried the leaves. The tree will recover from this as long as you don't overwater. Remember the tree with fewer leaves will transpire less moisture and need less water.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Thank you

Post  Chisky on Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:40 am

Thank you both for your replies. That was my gut reaction but being new to this I thought I'd ask. I was afraid that maybe the tree was dead already and just a stick in the dirt. I thought it would take longer for the leaves to die like that. I have to say it is still blooming. It is a pretty little thing.

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Re: Crape Myrtle dropping leaves

Post  JimLewis on Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:27 pm

You also are quite a bit farther north than a crape myrtle likes. Zone 7, where I live is about their northern limit, though some may struggle into zone 6. Your days also are now much shorter than mine, and MUCH shorter than they are farther south of me in the heart of their preferred range.

If the vendor at the show came from somewhere any real distance south of you, that plant may be protesting the lack of enough daylight.

But do watch the watering. A plant that is losing leaves will not be able to take up much water through the roots and as Billy says, overwatering is the cause of many plant ailments.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Crape Myrtle dropping leaves

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