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.
These past two springs, however, not all has been right in the world of Crape Myrtles. The winters have been abnormally cold and there has been many more Crape Myrtle deaths than usual. This is unfortunate as Crape Myrtles are one of the late summer bloomers that people really look forward to.
What Should I Do If Your Crape Myrtle Has Died?
Obviously, the first thing to do is to remove the dead plant from your garden. Dead plants should always be removed as soon as possible as they become targets for wood eating insects and diseases that could damage other plants.
What Should I Replace My Crape Myrtle With?
The second issue is what to replace the Crape Myrtle with? Another Crape Myrtle? A different plant?
If you decide to stay with a Crape Myrtle, use a variety that was developed here in the mid-Atlantic region at the National Arboretum. These are varieties with Native American names. Varieties such as Tuscarora (pink), Natchez (white) and Muskogee (purple) are among the favorites. Even selecting the locally developed varieties does not guarantee that there will not be winter death in very cold seasons, but they are a safer bet.
If you decide that you want to try a different type of tree, the bottom line is there are not a lot of choices for late season blooms. You may need to use a tree that blooms earlier in the year. The good news is that there are plenty to choose from. Consider trees such as Redbud, Kwanzan Cherry and Saucer Magnolia to name a few.
Regardless of what specie you opt for, Crape Myrtles and other flowering trees make a great addition to any garden or lawn.
Remember, Allentuck Landscaping Company is always here to help you design, install, construct and maintain you lawn and landscape. Give us a call!
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