Pink Velour Crape Myrtle

Asked July 5, 2015, 5:32 PM EDT

So I recently planted a few Crape Myrtles and, while they looked good the day I bought them, now they're looking unhealthy. They're planted in the red clay ground but I've added MiracleGrow garden soil and mulch. I've also been watering them in the late evening and early morning. They're planted on the east side of my house and have seen a decent amount of sun. Any suggestions? Thanks

Taylor County Texas trees and shrubs horticulture

1 Response

For the tree to wilt that quickly after planting, I can think of a few problems:
1. Tree dried out before you planted it. Was it wet when you purchased it? Did you keep it watered before you planted it?

2. The trunk was damaged when planting. The water conducting tissue is right under the bark. If the bark is damaged, this causes damage to the water conducting tissue so that section is not conducting water. If this happen all the way around a tree, the tree will die. I see this happen with trees planted in lawns where the string trimmer or mower hits the tree. This would be unusual in a planted bed unless the trunk was damaged while removing from pot and planting.
3. Poor drainage. Since you are watering twice a day, I wonder if the soil is not draining. Before you water, use a long screw driver to stick into the soil to see if there is still moisture, like sticking a toothpick in a cake.

4. Soil you added to hole is drying out or staying too wet. The screw driver test will also diagnosis this.

If the soil is not draining, modify your water schedule.