Potted crape myrtle

I had some cuttings from my outdoor hardy crape myrtle. During this past spring, I had planted some of them in small 12" pots to see if they would survive. They did and in fact 2 of them even bloomed slightly. Being in NYC, with oncoming Fall and winter, I dragged them indoors after they had shown their Fall leafs color and dropped all leaves. A couple of them went into a cool unheated basement with so far temperatures have not gone below 59 degrees. The other 2 are in another unheated room, but the temp there has not gone below 68 degrees. This was all done in mid October or early november..don't recall exactly. I was told while they are in a dormant stage to water sparingly, like once a month or a couple of weeks. I never watered them enough to cover the depth of the pots. Now, to my suprise today, I happened to notice that the branches of the 68 degrees are starting to sport leaves, not so with the basement one. I don't know what to do now. Should I start watering it as I did when they were outside or just stop watering them and hope it drops its new leaves and go dormant again? If I do start watering them again should I also fertilize them because they are in pots? Hopefully someone here who has knowledge of these shrubs would assist me? BTW, the sticker just says "Hardy crape myrtle"...no other title. I do have the parent shrub now almost 15 years.
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This is a hard call. Crape myrtles are native to the subtropics. The subtropics do experience frost, but rarely. However, crape myrtles do go dormant as soon as cooler weather becomes consistent (temps below 40 at night). It is not unusual however, for the subtropics to experience prolonged warm spells in winter, followed by more cool weather. During those periods, sometimes crape myrtles will leaf out, and then lose their leaves again if another frost strikes. Generally this didn't kill my crape myrtles, but they were in the ground. I guess I would advise keeping th plant which is leafing out "barely alive" -meaning not watering until the soil is quite dry on top, keeping it in the very coolest part of the room, as long as there is sufficient light, etc. In February and March, as the light gets stronger, you could increase watering, maybe fertilize lightly - and obviously as the days get warm enough, perhaps as early as mid-April, start keeping it outside in a very sheltered location.

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It is not unusual however, for the subtropics to experience prolonged warm spells in winter, followed by more cool weather. During those periods, sometimes crape myrtles will leaf out, and then lose their leaves again if another frost strikes. Generally this didn't kill my crape myrtles, but they were in the ground. I guess I would advise keeping th plant which is leafing out "barely alive" -meaning not watering until the soil is quite dry on top, keeping it in the very coolest part of the room, as long as there is sufficient light, etc. In February and March, as the light gets stronger, you could increase watering, maybe fertilize lightly - and obviously as the days get warm enough, perhaps as early as mid-April, start keeping it outside in a very sheltered location.>>>>
Well, no need to be concerned about frost while they are indoors. I watered when I spotted the leaves, and at that time the soil was dry. Maybe I should move it down to the basement with the others, who so far, at 59 degrees have not spouted new leaves?
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If you want it to go dormant, get it cold again. I live in Texas myself so I understand about the releafing out.
You will have to water it more while it is leafed out, but just not too much nor too little. Whether the tree is dormant or not, if it dries out too much it will die, so don't use the cutting back on the water to try to make it go dormant -- use the lower temperatures.
You could probably bury the pots in a south facing bed against the house, too, but I've never lived further north than Dallas so...I'm not sure I'd take my word for that. In Austin and Houston, I leave my pots out where they do freeze a few days or weeks a year so I know a light freeze doesn't kill even potted roots.
hth, John

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My size pot is about a foot deep and 17" wide. I do get a lot of south sun this time of year, but by January it would be just a little. I'm going to experiment and try to grow this indoors now that it sprouted new leaves and just fertilized, which I rarely had done to my 15 year old garden shrub, and it keeps on flourishing. The watering is a puzzle. You say water it occasionally and not very much. But if i don't see water coming into the saucer, then those bottom roots would not get any water and may die. Wouldn't that kill the plant then? BTW, this pot is too heavy to move around. Almost broke my back. Do you know how I can 'lighten' the soil as to make it moveable for the future? Thanks
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