Something Is Eating the Leaves on My Crepe Myrtle

My crepe myrtle has only been planted about two weeks and something is stripping the plant of its leaves leaving only the stems. I haven't seen any insects or aphids on the plant. Do rabbits or squirrels eat on these type of plants?

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September 12, 20180 found this helpful

Any time we had issues it was always insects or caterpillar type creatures or even grasshoppers and other hopping creatures--whose name escapes the horrible Japanese bettles that pop up on occasion. UGH.

Squirrels, bunnies and deer typically avoid these plants. Some where I read that the bark is even poisonous for bunnies.

It is always possible it was a desperate deer...we have had deer in our area eat things they don't usually eat because the tulips and such were gone from the crappy weather. My friend even had one on its hind legs getting into her bird feeder from the source! Quite the picture!!!

Your home extension office may have a better solution or answer since they know exactly what is happening in your area.

You can find yours at this link:

Good luck!!

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September 12, 20180 found this helpful

Just spray with insecticidal soap and you will take care of all insects

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September 18, 20180 found this helpful

I spray my young Crepe Myrtle with a solution of 1 TBL blue Dawn in a one quart bottle of plain water (distilled/bottled is best if you have heavily chlorinated water).


It is best to spray early in the morning before the sun gets hot so as not be burn your plants.

  • Insecticidal soap is best but the Dawn will help until you purchase your other remedy.
  • Insecticidal soap can be found at any store that has a garden center or even online if you wish to order it.
  • You can make your own but it may be best to just purchase a small bottle unless you have other plants that will be needing a good spray (safe for all plants (I've been told).
  • "The recipe for homemade insecticidal soap requires only three ingredients: Dawn dish soap, vegetable oil and soft water. Mix 2.5 tablespoons of the Dawn dish soap and 2.5 tablespoons of vegetable oil with 1 gallon of warm soft water.
  • The Dawn dish soap used in the recipe must not contain bleach, which could harm the plants. Furthermore, you should always use soft water when diluting pesticides. Hard water contains minerals, which interfere with the insecticidal soap, reducing its effectiveness."
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  • Check out this site for more information:
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