Persistent crape myrtle

I had two huge crape myrtles taken out, thought I had the stumps ground. But they keep sending up suckers in my papyrus. Anyone know how I can stop this, it's constant.
persistent crape myrtle, gardening
persistent crape myrtle, gardening
  18 answers
  • Nancy Hand Nancy Hand on May 19, 2013
    It could be sucker from the roots or seedling from seed that have germinated. Spray a herbicide for the unwanted plants or pull up the unwanted plants. :) Nice Papyrus!

  • Evelyn McMullen Evelyn McMullen on May 19, 2013
    Thanks Nancy. Unfortunately it's impossible to pull up, all I can do is cut it off. Trying to stay away from poisons. I love my papyrus.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on May 19, 2013
    Crape Myrtle can be very tenacious. I tried to kill one in the parking lot for 4 years. We cut it down, it came back. We sprayed it with round up, it came back. We dug it up and put it on the compost pile. It grew in the compost pile and regenerated in the parking lot! You will need to aggressively cut it each and every time you see it pop up. Not sure what you can use without using a chemical herbicide to help you speed the process up.

  • Evelyn McMullen Evelyn McMullen on May 19, 2013
    Thanks Donna, I keep cutting it & cutting it. My nursery guy used roundup (even tho I asked him not to), it still comes back, aargh. I have a gorgeous huge red one in the back yard & purple ones behind my brm. I leave them alone!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on May 20, 2013
    Have you tried moving your Papyrus and then laying down clear plastic over the Crape Myrtle (the sun overheats everything underneath). Once it is gone, you can arrange your bed again.

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on May 20, 2013
    Using clear plastic only works well in the middle of summer, but it does work well. You could try a combo of using that and cover the area with cardboard in the spring and fall. You'll starve the root system. I'd move that beautiful papyrus as well. No herbicides, please. Not only do they kill the plant, they kill the microorganisms in the soil and new research indicates the gyphosphates found in Roundup last a lot longer than advertised. It can leach into surrounding water systems killing fish etc.

  • Evelyn McMullen Evelyn McMullen on May 20, 2013
    That would be nigh on to impossible for me. The papyrus is huge & there would be no place to put it temporarily. Thanks for the idea tho.

  • Alisha Rushing Alisha Rushing on May 20, 2013
    Gonna have to use a root killer. Other wise it will keep coming back.

  • Judy Judy on May 20, 2013
    Cut it back as close to the ground as you can. Cover the area with heavy black plastic. Cover plastic with mulch. Leave it for a year or so. Lack of light & water will kill it.

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on May 21, 2013
    Sorry, Alisha, but I'd be very reluctant to use root killer, since it's none specific and could take out the papyrus and anything else close by. I think Judy has the best idea, it take longer, but it ought to do the trick.

  • Evelyn McMullen Evelyn McMullen on May 21, 2013
    Thanks to all of you for the great suggestions. I'm afraid tho I'll just keep cutting it & hope for the best without any poisons.

  • Tammy Pearce Tammy Pearce on May 21, 2013
    I have 2 crape myrtles ,that we have also cut back and would like to get rid of . They was here when we bought our house one in front of the porch and one in front of a bedroom window ,they are planted to close to the house and had to cut them for house insurance purposes . Thanks for the question Evelyn !!! I am going to also try Judy idea ,don't want to kill the rest of my plants with root kill or herbicides that also might dogs will get into !!!!!!!!!

  • Lynn Lynn on May 21, 2013
    Do those of you using Roundup understand that in order for it to work, it has to be put on the leaves? Therefore, do not cut it off first. It stops the photosynthesis of the plant therefore it kills b/c of lack of sunlight on the LEAVES. I don't think it will be effective spraying it on the cut off stumps. At least that is my understanding.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on May 21, 2013
    @Lynn if you paint it immediately the it sucks (translocates) the poisen in and sends it down to the roots, which is the same way leaves take it in. If you wait though the stump 'heals' over and it won't give that action. It isn't the lack of sun on the leaves, the chemical 'explodes' the leaf cells and they die. The chemical enters through the leaves, travels down to the roots and throughout the entire plant killing systemically.

  • Karen P Karen P on May 21, 2013
    I would drill several holes in the existing trunk and put boric acid (crystals) in each drill hole, the boric acid is a weak acid and isn't a pesticide per se. the plant will eventually give it up. This worked on a very tenacious cotoneaster in my yard. Keep cutting back the sprouts or better yet pull them out. Beware of your papyrus, it too can be extremely invasive too.

  • Sheryl Hart Sheryl Hart on May 21, 2013
    I've had good luck with killing roots by pouring Clorox on open 'wound'.

  • Don Clark Don Clark on May 21, 2013
    crape myrtles grow from the root system they have and the roots go everywhere and I get them all of the time in my yard and then I sometimes try to propagate them. Did some for a friend and he said the ones that lived had a beautiful watermelon color and now his are spreading

  • Evelyn McMullen Evelyn McMullen on May 21, 2013
    Don, how well i know that. My driveway is cracked from the roots, I have volunteer in the side yard from either those behind my bedroom or from the huge one in the far corner of the back yard. I think everybody on my street got them when they houses were built almost 25 yrs ago. Mine in the corner is that watermelon color & those behind my brm are pale lavender, really pretty. It's just the ones I had taken down that I want to get rid of. Love the others.