Natchez, Muskogee, Basham’s Party Pink, Sioux and Tonto crape myrtles aren’t as susceptible to cercospora leaf spot as older varieties.

The fungal disease appears in late May to early June and continues into the fall.

Infected leaves turn yellow to orange red and fall off. Raking and getting rid of fallen leaves help check the spread of the disease.

LSU AgCenter horticulturists say cercospora isn’t that harmful to crape myrtle long term.

Fungicides have not proven effective and treating a large tree can be difficult.

Use a systemic insecticide, one that is taken up by a plant’s tissue and sap, early in the spring to control aphids. White flies, also controllable with insecticide, produce sooty mold on leaves.

Suckers, new growth at the base of crape myrtle, come from the upper part of the tree’s root system. Suckers may be the result of weed trimmer damage, too.

Remove suckers with sharp pruners, careful not to leave a stub. Spray with napthaleneacetic acid.

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