Most of the diseases of crepe myrtles are caused by pests. Crapemyrtle (Crape Myrtle) Lagerstroemia indica The common crapemyrtle is a deciduous, small to medium sized shrub or small tree with a variable, moderately dense habit, often multi-stemmed form. If you are seeing brown leaves (or even partially brown leaves) on a crepe myrtle shrub, such as a Natchez crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia x Natchez), at the end of a dry summer, the problem could be due to drought. Uses, Benefits, Cures, Side Effects, Nutrients in Crepe Myrtle. The female’s body shrinks as eggs are pro- duced. Names of Crepe Myrtle in various languages of the world are also given. Though any tall variety can make a tree, at some point one winter will be so harsh that the crape myrtle will die back to the ground. On new growth and in heavy infestations, the scales may be distributed more uniformly on the branch (Figs. It was originally described from crapemyrtle in Hawaii and named for the queen, Kahawaluokalani! They are pale yellowish-green with black spots on the abdomen. Learn more about proper pruning techniques in our article "Pruning Crapemyrtle." There are two forms of crape myrtles: trees and strubs. These common pests must be washed off the plant using a garden hose and an environmentally-friendly insecticide mixed with water. Powdery Mildew: Powdery Mildew is a tree fungus that coats the tree’s leaves, blocking the process of photosynthesis.. Every year trees and shrubs rely on … When choosing your crape myrtle, make sure to pay close attention to the plant’s mature height and width and if that fits the look you hope to achieve. One question we are always asked is: How fast do crape myrtles grow? L. fauriei, L. subcostata and L. limii have been used in breeding programs, and cultivars of L. indica × fauri… Cool, moist weather encourages these diseases, especially when new leaves are developing. The crapemyrtle aphid, Sarucallis (Tinocallis) kahawaluokalani, is one of the most common pests of crapemyrtles. These bushes flourish in the southeastern United States, where they are very popular due to their ability to withstand the summer heat. L. speciosa, commonly called Queen's Crapemyrtle, has been popular as a flowering street tree in tropical areas, including South Florida. Kingwood Garden Center customer, Ronny R, stopped by to find a solution for the unsightly residue on his crepe myrtle trees, which he believed to a fungus. These include mold and aphids. L. indica × L. faueri hybrids – These hybrids are completely resistant to powdery mildew and are more hardy than the common crape myrtle, so you can grow them in the zone 6 as well. The contents inside crepe myrtle can quickly heal skin diseases, and can also prevent skin from being exposed to free radicals. Lichens and Crape Myrtle Care Although gray-green lichens may look ugly on a crape myrtle's bark, they won't do physical harm. Crapemyrtle aphids are small, fragile insects around 1 ⁄ 16 inch long. Mildew is a fungus; the white powder you see is made up of spores. The crape myrtle aphid (Tinocallis kahawaluokalani) is the most common crape myrtle pest. Thus, the skin health can be maintained. This can be a difficult pest to control and it may take m… 4 through 6). In one year, there could be at least two generations of CMBS. Crape myrtle bark scale, Eriococcus lagerstroemiae, belongs to a special group of scale insects known as felt scales. The surface of an infected plant has a powder-like appearance (Fig. Crepe myrtles come in all different colors and heights, so find the one that's right for you. Sooty mold alone is not a definite indication of CMBS, but if you also find white, felt-covered scales that bleed pink when punctured, you can be sure you have found crape myrtle bark scale. L. indica has been cultivated as an ornamental for centuries and was introduced to the southern United States over one hundred and fifty years ago. It is one of the only scales known to infest crape myrtles. As with most insects, there are several life stages and the appearance of CMBS changes with the stages. Most crepe myrtles in gardens are selections of L. indica or hybrids of that specie… Crape myrtle, also called crepe myrtle or loosestrife, is a group of roughly 50 tree and shrub cultivars in the genus Lagerstroemia. Crepe myrtles are susceptible to several diseases and pests, including: Powdery Mildew: The most common scourge of crape myrtles is powdery mildew – particularly during hot, humid days followed by cool, dewy nights. However, the Crape Myrtle does boast a higher resistance to pests and diseases than other flowering tree varieties, and when they are affected, the issues are easy to mediate quickly. Have confidence that any plants you order from us are ALWAYS disease and insect free. Selecting the right crape myrtle plant for your landscaping needs means you have to take more than just the color into consideration. Overcome … In Florida the leaf spot disease was severe in 1976, especially on the pink-flowering variety ‘Near East’. Heavy pruning, especially slashing the tops off, leads to weaker growth and flowering as well as stress, thus more insect pests and diseases. Adult females are felt-like white or gray encrustations that stick to crape myrtle parts ranging from small twigs to large trunks. Crepe Myrtle Diseases & Insects. Crape myrtle bark scale is a messy insect pest that leaves behind a sticky honeydew residue in which black sooty mold will develop. 17. These symptoms are only seen on the leaf but if the tree gets this crepe myrtle disease then the flowers and the growth of this crepe myrtle are the affected. Crape myrtles need plenty of sun and air circulation to help fight this disease. Adult females produce a white, felt-like sac around their bodies and lay approximately 100 to 300 pink eggs inside this sac. Heavily infected leaves then turn yellow or brown and fall prematurely. Various leaf spot fungi cause yellow, brown or black dead blotches on crape myrtle leaves. It is best to prevent the growth of mildew, but if your tree is already infected, following these steps will help you restore it to its former beauty. Above is a well-pruned mature crape myrtle, with lower limbs thinned and the upper and side branches cut back just a little for a more compact yet still natural effect. It is hardy in the US zones 7 to 9. 3), and badly infected leave… It can completely cover and severely damage new plant growth. Lagerstroemia species are deciduous shrubs or trees with geographic origins in China, Japan, and other parts of southeast Asia. Powdery mildewThis is one of the most common crepe myrtle tree diseases that affect the crepe myrtle trees. This step will save you backaches and heartaches in the future. When crushed, these scales exude pink “blood”-like liquid. You will notice that the flower will not open to its beauty and the growth of the tree is stunned. Crepe myrtles have a few diseases and insects they are prone to. Treat with a general fungicide. All varieties are susceptible to attack by crape myrtle scales, although research is underway to see if some are more so than others. Want to see more Southern Living videos? Improving air circulation within your crepe myrtle and applying chemical controls can eliminate mildew problems and restore the plant's beauty. How Crepe Myrtle is effective for various diseases is listed in repertory format. In Arkansas, the more serious disease is leaf spot which can cause susceptible varieties to be nearly defoliated by late August. This tiny insect feeds on the sap of the crape myrtle and produces a liquid called honeydew, that can often be observed dripping from crape myrtles in the spring. Powdery mildew occurs most often on young, actively growing plant tissues (Fig. Heavy infestations of crape myrtle aphids can also cause trees to be covered with black sooty mold, but any crape myrtle that is covered with sooty mold should be carefully exa… CMBS might be able to overwinter in the adult female and egg life stages, and crawlers and later stage nymphs have been observed overwintering under the loose bark and in cracks and crevices of crapemyrtles in our area. Crape myrtle cultivars range from 18 inches to 40 feet tall and grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 9. 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