Does Your Crape Myrtle Look Lifeless?

Crape MyrtleThere it stands in the middle of your yard or in a key spot in your garden. The tree you prize so much for its late summer blooms when not much else is in flower. It looks dead. It looks lifeless. All the other plants are leafing out and looking lush and green. Do you find yourself muttering “My Crape Myrtle looks dead”?

Crape Myrtles are one of the most prized of all landscape trees. Blooming pink, red, white or lavender in late summer and into fall, it is no wonder homeowners prize this special tree.

Should I Worry?

If you have not noticed yet, there are a lot of Crape Myrtles that have not leafed out yet. Some of this is normal, some is not and could be cause for concern.

Crape Myrtles are typically one of the last landscape plants to leaf out. Some varieties will not even leaf out until early June. It does not help that their wood is so brittle that they look like there is no life in them. We get tons of phone calls around now from people asking if there plant is dead or alive. Our usual response is to tell them to wait until June and then we will know for sure. In most cases, The Crape Myrtle leafs out and all is good.

How To Tell If You Have A Dead Crape Myrtle

One way to check is to use your fingernail and scratch off a small section of bark. You should see some green just under the surface. If you do, this means the tree is still alive. If you do not see green, you’ll have to wait awhile before you know for sure.  A really cold winter may have of killed the top growth, but the roots may still be alive. If this is the case, you’ll have to just wait and see if new shoots develop. Continue to care for the tress just as you would any other tree.

A little patience goes a long way with Crape Myrtles, but it is worth it.

Want to learn more about crape myrtles? Learn  all about Crape Myrtles here. 


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