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Crepe myrtle sudden death?

Apopka, FL

I've had two crepe myrtles outside my window for about 5 months now, and while one is blooming happily, the smaller one just lost all its leaves within a matter of days. It was happy up until then, and there was no environmental change that could've affected it enough to kill it so quickly. I also have six sunpatiens, three around the base of each of my crepes, and the ones around the "dead" crepe are also completely wilted and brown. If anyone has any idea what could've happened I'd appreciate a solution, even if I can't resurect them.

Thumbnail by Apopkan
Burleson, TX

Crepe Myrtles don't like a lot of water...could you have a plumbing leak?
You might have the soil tested...there could be something contaminating the
soil in that spot from years ago...

Burleson, TX

Ok, I just looked at the picture...Do you have good drainage?
I compost & am always adding to my soil. We're on an acre & have ALL types of soils!! I learned this when I was planting Photinia's, Japanese Ligastrum and other tree's that came up in the "free' city mulch, around the perimeter of our backyard. I found hard clay, bright red soil, sandy soil & black gumbo. I have been actively composting & doing "Hugelkultur" beds for a couple years & things are looking beautiful! I have lots of earthworms in my soil now & their droppings are an added nutrient. :)

Mesquite, TX

1. Just a thought, is there a gas line, either natural or propane, that runs underneath or adjacent to the crepe that died? Unless I misunderstood, it seems that it would unusual for both the crepe AND the surrounding plants to die at the same approximate time therefore there may be an underlying "mechanical" issue causing the dieback.
2. Is it possible that both the crepe and the other plants were hit by windblown weed killer spray?
3. Have you recently used a granular fertilizer containing some type of weed killer around the plants? Particularly for newly or recently planted items, is really doesn't take more than a few errant granules to damage a plant or plants.
While all of these are just thrown out there as possible causes to investigate, it may take some serious detective work on your part to find a cause before you plant again in that exact spot. Hope this helps...
Steve

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