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8 Widespread Crape Myrtle Pests and Illnesses and The right way to Deal With Them

Crape myrtle shrubs (Lagerstroemia spp.) are well-liked for his or her colourful foliage and Southern temperament. Nevertheless, crape myrtle crops can undergo issues like aphids or powdery mildew. On this article, we’ll have a look at eight widespread crape myrtle pests and ailments and the way to take care of them.

8 Common Crape Myrtle Pests and Diseases and How to Deal With Them

8 Widespread Crape Myrtle Pests and Illnesses

8 Common Crape Myrtle Pests and Diseases

1) Aphids

Aphids are little black or inexperienced sap-sucking bugs that collect in giant numbers on the undersides of leaves. Aphid infestations can have an effect on crape myrtles by inflicting stunted or misshapen development. Aphids additionally produce honeydew, a sticky substance that may trigger the expansion of sooty black mould.

Remove aphids utilizing insecticidal cleaning soap, organic controls, or horticultural oils like neem oil. You too can blast your crape myrtle with a hose to dislodge aphids rapidly.

2) Asian Ambrosia Beetles

Asian Ambrosia beetles are small reddish-brown beetles that bore into crape myrtle trunks to put their eggs. To feed their larvae, feminine beetles use a fungus that impairs the plant’s potential to flow into water.

Asian Ambrosia beetles are a comparatively new pest however have already began attacking crape myrtles. Signs embrace wilting leaves and white mud left behind when the beetles burrow into the trunk.

Pesticides can’t cease giant Asian Ambrosia beetle infestations, so affected branches have to be eliminated. Crape myrtles that get sufficient water have higher defenses in opposition to these beetles.

3) Bark Scale Bugs

Bark scale bugs are one other new pest that assaults crape myrtles. Fortunately, these assaults received’t often kill the plant. Bark scale bugs are sometimes present in crevices on the trunk and don’t seem on the leaves.

These bugs secrete honeydew, which results in black sooty mould that causes misshapen development. Bark scale bugs goal crape myrtles rising within the shade, so place your plant in full solar. Remove bark scale bugs utilizing insecticidal cleaning soap or horticultural oils.

4) Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are widespread crape myrtle pests with brown our bodies and metallic inexperienced heads. Adults devour crape myrtle leaves and flowers, whereas the larvae devour the roots. Japanese beetles lay their eggs within the soil, permitting the larvae to outlive throughout the winter.

Remove Japanese beetles utilizing horticultural oils or insecticidal cleaning soap. Decide off any adults you discover and drown them. You too can purchase Japanese beetle traps that appeal to these pests, so place these nicely away out of your crape myrtle.

5) Leaf Spot

Cercospora leaf spot is a fungal illness that assaults crape myrtles. This leaf spot illness is extra prevalent in heat, humid situations. Contaminated leaves show yellow or black spots on the highest and grayish-white fungus beneath.

If left untreated, the Cercospora leaf spot causes crape myrtles to drop their leaves throughout the summer time. This illness could be eradicated utilizing natural fungicides. Giving your crape myrtle loads of area and good air circulation helps cease the illness from infecting your plant.

6) Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal illness that thrives in humid situations. The principle symptom is a buildup of powdery white patches on the leaves of your crape myrtle. Different signs embrace curled or discolored leaves.

Take away any contaminated leaves as quickly as you see them. Guarantee that your crape myrtle has loads of area round it to advertise good air circulation. Keep away from overwatering your crape myrtle to cut back humid, moist situations. Take away leaf particles as powdery mildew survives the winter on fallen leaves.

7) Scale Bugs

Scale bugs are sap-sucking bugs with waxy armored shells. These pests are sometimes seen on crape myrtle leaves. Different signs embrace white eggs beneath the leaves and deposits of honeydew, which result in black mould.

Use horticultural oils, insecticidal cleaning soap, and organic controls to get rid of scale bugs. Bigger infestations will have to be eradicated utilizing natural pesticides.

8) Spider Mites

Spider mites are annoying pests that thrive in scorching summer time situations. These pests devour chlorophyll inside crape myrtle leads, resulting in stunted or distorted development. Different signs embrace white webs across the leaves and black or yellow leaf spots.

One of the best ways to get rid of spider mites is to make use of horticultural oils or insecticidal cleaning soap. Organic controls additionally work nicely. Small spider mite infestations aren’t a extreme drawback for crape myrtles, however giant infestations have to be handled.

The right way to Care For Crape Myrtle

How to Care For Crape Myrtle

Rising Surroundings

Crape myrtles thrive in Zones 6 to 9 and require sheltered places to guard them from sturdy winds. Most crape myrtles can survive winter temperatures as little as -5ºF. In colder climates, develop crape myrtles in containers and shield them by wrapping them in fleece or bringing them indoors.

Daylight Necessities

Crape myrtles want at the least six hours of full solar every single day. The morning solar is preferable to direct afternoon daylight, which is extra intense. South or west-facing places present crape myrtles with the best quantity of daylight.

Soil Circumstances

Crape myrtles require well-draining soils that also maintain a little bit of moisture. They will survive in nutrient-poor soils and are drought-tolerant as soon as established. Crape myrtles desire barely acidic soils with pH ranges between 5.0 and 6.5.


Water established crape myrtles each two weeks or so to maintain the soil moist and extra regularly in scorching, dry situations. Water newly planted crape myrtles a few times per week for the primary couple of years. This helps the plant set up a great root system.


Feed older crape myrtles as soon as throughout the spring with a slow-release fertilizer. This gives loads of vitamins for the event of latest leaves and flowers. Fertilize newly planted crape myrtles as soon as a month throughout their first rising season.

Pruning & Trimming

Crape myrtles fluctuate in dimension, impacting how usually you need to prune them. Dwarf varieties received’t want a lot pruning as a result of they solely develop between 2 and 6 toes tall. Nevertheless, some kinds of crape myrtle develop as shrubs or small timber that attain roughly 30 toes tall and 15 toes huge.

Fairly than pruning too usually, assess your backyard first and decide what sort of crape myrtle you possibly can accommodate. Select a crape myrtle that stays at a manageable dimension in your area. This lets you cut back the pruning you’ll have to do.

Crape Myrtle Pests and Illnesses FAQs: 

How do I forestall crape myrtle pests and ailments?

In my expertise, prevention measures fluctuate relying on the precise pest or illness, however typically, you must follow good sanitation, keep away from over-fertilization, and supply correct watering and drainage, to mitigate the probabilities of pests or ailments.

What ought to I do if I discover indicators of a pest or illness on my crape myrtle?

First, determine the precise pest or illness after which decide the suitable remedy technique. Remedy choices could embrace controls, corresponding to pruning and sanitation, or chemical controls, corresponding to pesticides and fungicides.

How can I inform if my crape myrtle has a pest or illness drawback?

Search for bodily indicators corresponding to leaf curling, discoloration, or recognizing, in addition to uncommon development patterns or harm to the bark or stems. You may additionally discover the presence of bugs or webbing on the plant.

Are crape myrtle pests and ailments dangerous to people or pets?

Most crape myrtle pests and ailments aren’t dangerous to people or pets, however it’s at all times a good suggestion to scrub your palms completely after dealing with any doubtlessly contaminated plant materials and put on protecting gloves when coping with affected areas.

Wrapping Up

Crape myrtles could be contaminated by ailments like Cercospora leaf spot or powdery mildew. Crape myrtles may also be attacked by pests corresponding to aphids and Japanese beetles. Most crape myrtle issues could be solved utilizing horticultural oils, insecticidal cleaning soap, or natural fungicides.

For extra, see our in-depth guides to crape myrtle deer resistance and whether or not crape myrtles are poisonous to people and animals.

Edd is a budding content material author and gardener dwelling in the UK. He has a bachelor’s diploma in Artistic and Skilled Writing and has written for a number of gardening publications on-line. He’s keen about nature and sustainability with a give attention to gardening and wildlife.



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