What to do?!! Watering the shrubs overhead helps wash away or destroy the spores and so helps prevent the spread of the disease. Watering them twice a week as we do lawns in the summer is excessive for these trees. They are usually one of the last trees to put on leaves in the spring, but earlier than pecans. The crepe myrtle, sometimes spelled crape myrtle or crapemyrtle, is a large, flowering tree. Neither has a spot of powdery mildew. If your crepe myrtle is affected by white scale, it may develop black sooty mold (In fact, the sooty, black substance may be the first sign of white scale on crepe myrtles.). Powdery mildew occurs most often on young, actively growing plant tissues (Fig. A white coating or white patches or spots on crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica), U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9, could be caused by powdery mildew, wood decay or possibly a pest infestation. Leaf spot disease is most prominent in the mid-to late summer season, but will turn brown and fall off as the fall season approaches. Ask A Question ; Search Our Site. 4. No 'bugs'found. Over the last 3 years, these 2 crepe myrtles have grown a weblike material across half of the leaves of the plant, which almost looks like they are being choked out. One defense against the fungi is regular pruning when the tree is young, which prevents the creation of large wounds during removal of overgrown branches later. Q: crape … In Florida the leaf spot disease was severe in 1976, especially on the pink-flowering variety ‘Near East’. They also produce heaps of mildew spores that go on to infect other leaves. Crape myrtle bark scales are invasive pests that can infest shrubs and trees growing in certain areas of the United States. In fact, its spores cannot germinate on a wet leaf surface and will actually die if the leaf is covered with water for too long. I have noticed black sooty mold on my crape myrtles along with white spots on branches (photos are attached). provide head-turning allure to gardens in United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. And it's all your fault. Gently scrub the bark of the trunk and branches with a soft brush and the solution. 2), infected shoots may dry up and shrivel, severely affected buds will drop off (Fig. Unfortunately, you must have one of the older varieties that is not powdery mildew resistant. A: After looking at your photos and examining the samples of your leaves, I believe the spots are caused by a fungus called Cercospora lythracearum as it is the most common fungal leaf spot on Lagerstroemia indica (crape myrtles). The trendy haircuts you’ll be seeing everywhere next year. Crepe Myrtles Are Covered With Sticky Residue And White Powdery Substance. What happens is if you heavily prune your crepe myrtle tree, it will cause the tree to put all their energy into growing new leaves and limbs. On older leaves, powdery mildew mainly forms whitish spots that lay on the leaf surface. What can I do? Between late spring and midsummer is the best time for applying soil-systemic pesticides. Southern Living is a registered trademark of, These Haircuts Are Going To Be Huge in 2021, 7 Paint Colors We’re Loving for Kitchen Cabinets in 2020, 50 Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime. Unfortunately, some crape myrtle cultivars are susceptible to powdery mildew. Crape myrtle aphids are tiny, only about a 16th of an inch long. What's That White Stuff On My Crepe Myrtle? Most of the newer selections resist mildew. Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew is one of the most common problems of crape myrtle, and it is caused by the fungus Erysiphe lagerstroemia. They feed by sticking their mouthparts into a plant and sucking out the sugar-rich sap, like a teenager slurping down a frappuccino. What powdery mildew likes best is fresh, new growth brought on by an early spring and stupid pruning combined with cool, humid, dry weather. You're seeing your crepes covered with this weird, white stuff. Crape myrtles that are decaying could present a danger due to falling limbs. Often the leaves are stunted and distorted. Another defense is to water and feed the shrubs regularly to help them continue growing vigorously. To see how to prune a crepe myrtle correctly, read "Crepe Myrtle Pruning Step-By-Step." Answer: What sort of looks like snow is called powdery mildew, a fungal disease. ‘Tis the season to ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder and brighter. As summer approaches, it is not unusual for crape myrtles' lush green growth to turn black as they are covered in sooty mold. A. But they all look pretty much the same -- a powdery white coating or spots on leaves, stems, and flower buds. Powdery mildew is the name given to a group of diseases caused by several closely related fungi. Questions. This is one of the most common diseases of crepe myrtles, caused by a fungus that leaves patches of white powdery growth on the surfaces of leaves, new shoots or flowers. 1). The scales also reproduce on the shrubs, with each female laying dozens of pink eggs. Washing with a weak solution of dishwashing liquid and water removes most of an infestation of crape myrtle bark scales and their eggs, as well as the black mold. Spring is the main season when powdery mildew flourishes. 11 years ago. In autumn the mid-green leaves turn yellow, orange or red (depending on the variety) before falling. That was last weekend. Instead, it grows on sticky honeydew secreted by sucking insects like aphids, scales, and white flies that do feed on the leaves. Diseases. Older leaves are less likely to be affected, but can become infected under conditions favorable for the disease. The leaves on my crape myrtles have curled up and turned white. The White Crape Myrtle … There are many hosts; and although this disease is not considered fatal, plant damage can occur when the infestation is severe. Powdery mildew is much more injurious to young growth. Some of you, however, persist in this cretinous pursuit and now you're paying the price. 3), and badly infected leave… This change may be a sign of powdery mildew, a disease common to crape myrtles. The weird, white stuff is a fungus called powdery mildew. Unfortunately, some crape myrtle cultivars are susceptible to powdery mildew. If you are seeing brown leaves on your crepe myrtle plant in the spring, it could be due to your area experiencing a cold snap. They also produce heaps of mildew spores that go on to infect other leaves. If your crape myrtles develop a powdery or mealy, white or grayish coating that's concentrated on the flower buds, leaflets and shoots, they're probably infected with powdery mildew. As the infection spreads, these tiny spots become larger. Crepe myrtles also attract It takes several weeks for soil-systemic insecticides to reach throughout the shrub. If your crape myrtle's dark green leaves have turned white, your tree might be infected with mildew. And that's what crepe murderers have helped to do this year. Grayish-white patches on the bark near pruning wounds or in branch crotches hide colonies of the insects. What Is the Black Stuff on My Outdoor Fern? Mildew is a fungus; the white powder you see is made up of spores. How long do crepe myrtles live? In doing so, they interfere with photosynthesis, because the leaf surface they're laying on can't get sunlight. Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) is a white fungus that commonly develops on crape myrtles. Some common diseases of crepe myrtles include. It causes white or grayish powdery coat on the leaves. Heavily infected flowers may fail to open. Unpruned crepe myrtles develop beautifully coloured, smooth, mottled trunks. Crepe myrtle bark scale insects make their home on the plant's exfoliating white bark, where they conceal themselves beneath protective wax. Mildew thrives in warm, … With all of these products, follow label directions carefully. And powdery mildew says, "Yum!". On the other hand, if the trees are old or carry large wounds from heavy pruning or other types of injuries, the white fungus could be due to dying, decaying wood. Powdery Mildew. This fungal infection inhibits the growth of new leaves and … Susceptible varieties of crape myrtle should be avoided. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. 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