i have a crepe myrtle which is five years old, this year it didnt flower. It is INFESTED with yellow jackets and i suspect now, that its also infested with aphids. i am attaching a photo, please help!
also, please note due to construction in the yard we began using soaker hose in that garden. i suspect the stress of not enough water or too much water is what stressed the tree to get the aphids.
how do i know if my soaker is delivering enough H2O?
last night i did an application of homemade insectical soap but im not sure i got enough of the bottom of the leaves. but today, there are still hundreds of yellow jackets on the tree!
It should be fine, if that’s the only problem … aphids are very common on CMs. :)
The yellow jackets are not the problem. They are only there becasue they're eating the aphids for you. They're the good guys.
aphids make honeydew.. the wasps are harvesting such ...
when you kill the aphids.. the wasps will leave.. unless they have a house in there.. look close...
if they dont start going away soon.. then your treatment failed...
run your water.. and then take a hand trowel.. and dig a few 3 to 6 inch holes .. AND FIND OUT ABOUT MOISTURE in your soil.. no one can tell you anything.. its just you and your shovel ...
a shrub needs a deep soaking.. about once a month.. if there is drought ... OTHERWISE.. MOST SHOULD .. oops.. be free range.. and not need watering.. unless its a recent transplant...
this is one reason you dont put transplanted trees and shrubs on drip.. you need to water infrequently but deeply.. as deep as the root mass planted.. which might take a couple hours of drip to do such ... in my sand.. i had to run a zone for 8 hours to get water a foot down .... do you water for that long???.. start digging holes.. and find out ...
if you want solve the problem.. then invest in the proper remedy.. rather than homemade witches brews ...
you are correct..t hat problems find stressed plants ...
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What are the growing conditions? Is the Crape in shade or planted close to other things? Where are you located?
I’m in Texas, brutal summer, brutal drought, mine are all in full sun … no issues this year at all. When I’ve had some in shadier, wetter spots, they had problems.
Even in months of triple digits, no rain, and scorching sun, my mature ones don’t need weekly waterings.
Over the years, I’ve tried everything under the sun (ha) to control aphid infestations on Crapes — nothing has ever worked for me any better than blasting the leaves with water as often as possible.
The wasps may be harvesting honeydew but they are also eating the aphids. The aphids will have preceded and attracted the yellowjackets. They are not separate issues.
^--- I agree, yellowjackets are carnivorous in nature.
Thanks everyone for your good adviceWe treated the tree for aphids and the yellow jackets went away! Now hoping we can save my beautiful tree