crepe myrtle

Asked October 12, 2019, 1:11 PM EDT

I have planted 3 times a crepe myrtle in the same spot in garden each time they have died what could be wrong

Bucks County Pennsylvania

1 Response

One possibility is our weather in the last few years. Crape Myrtle is hardy in zones 6-9 which means that it is in the northern edge of its hardiness zone in Bucks County. Crape Myrtle only grows naturally in zones 7-9 with some hardier cultivars that have pushed the plant into zone 6. In the last several years, we have had strong temperature swings, harsh winds, and drought with extreme heat.
Before you invest further in the plant, here is a fact sheet that tells you what the plant needs to thrive.
Before planting Crape Myrtle again, I suggest you get a soil test from Penn State and have them test for any soil borne pathogens in the place you plant. You can also test for general soil health to see if you are low in a necessary nutrient.
You may need to provide more shelter from winter winds and heat desiccation, and add a soaker hose so you can make sure the plant gets at least an inch of water a week throughout the growing season. Make sure it doesn't get too much water by planting in well drained soil away from any roof drains, and keep the soil uniformly moist with 2-3 inches of a natural mulch like shredded hardwood bark.