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Lagerstroemia indica

Q: I have a crape myrtle that has leaves with brown tips. What could be wrong?

Q: I have a crape myrtle that has leaves with brown tips; they look like they have been dipped in chocolate. I haven’t put any fertilizer on them but I water them every morning at 2am for about 20 minutes. What could be wrong?

 

Burned foliage, a result of adverse growing conditions.

Burned foliage, a result of adverse growing conditions.

A: Burned edges of leaves can be caused by several things including too much fertilizer, lack of water, root diseases or too much water. I suspect the problem is directly related to the amount of water your crape myrtle is receiving. Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) requires full sun, well-drained soils and it is drought tolerant. The damage on the current leaves is permanent but stop watering and any new growth should be fine. However, if the roots have been damaged or root rot exists then the problem will persist. Few, if any, landscape plants require water every day and once trees or shrubs have reached maturity, water them only as needed. In addition, consider re-timing your irrigation system to start watering other plants or grass later in the morning around 5 or 6 am to avoid potential fungal disease development.