crape myrtle

Brooklyn, NY

Hi,
I reside in Brooklyn NY, and we are having an unusually warm spring. I planted in my yard a beautiful Tonto Crepe Myrtle last week. It was 6 ft. when I planted it, and I have already observed new growth. It is beautiful and my family is very excited. I am not sure how often I should be watering it. I don't want to overdo it, but I am afraid to let it become dry. Please help. Also, if you have any other tips which will help ensure my Tonto's health, let me know. Thanks, Brooklyn Mike

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

It'll need pretty regular water until it's established, if you're not sure whether to water or not, stick your finger down several inches into the soil and see if it feels dry or not, if it does then give it a drink but if it still feels moist then leave it alone. My biggest concern is going to be its hardiness--I think most Crape myrtles are only hardy to zone 7, maybe 6b and I'm not sure what zone you're in, but I think you may be colder than that?

Brooklyn, NY

Actually, I do reside in Zone 7. I was also concerned about temperature, but was reassured that the Crape Myrtle would do well. I have observed several others in my neighborhood, and they seem to do well. If I water every day, would that be too much? Also, is there anything else I should be doing? Thanks for your help.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

If you're in zone 7 it should be fine, I just figured even the coastal areas of NY were still zone 6. I wouldn't water based on a certain number of days, I would water by checking the soil to see if it's still wet a few inches down. If you have very sandy soil and your weather is warm, you may end up having to water more than once a day, but if the weather's cooler and your soil is more clay, then it could be several days in between waterings. And the watering requirements may change--your soil is what it is, but as you have warmer and cooler weather you'll have to adjust the frequency accordingly because the plant will go through water faster when it's hot. Eventually you'll probably want to fertilize it too, but for now since it's newly planted it's best to hold off on that.

Brooklyn, NY

Thanks for your help. It was very warm yesterday. I watered Tonto (that's what we've been calling our Crape Myrtle) in the a.m. before work, and following your advice, checked it when I got home, and it seemed dry, so I did water it again. I'm looking forward to the blooms.

Fort Payne, AL(Zone 7a)

Years ago, the City of Decatur, GA had 15' crepe myrtles along the railroad tracks. We got down to -12 that winter and they were killed. Even the English ivy died. They cut the trees down to the ground and I was amazed at how quickly they came back. Bushier and more beautiful than ever. Good luck with Tonto. Judy

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