How to Grow a Crepe Myrtle Tree

Many people think that the crape myrtle tree is somewhere between a shrub and a tree, so it is often misunderstood and therefore not well cared for. However, with proper care, this beautiful and hardy flowering tree of crape myrtle can be an eye-catching addition to the landscape.

Although native to South Asia, crape myrtle has been cultivated in North America since the 18th century. Crape myrtle is essentially a multi-stemmed shrub that has been bred into many different species and subspecies, each with its own unique characteristics. The most common species in North Texas is the crape myrtle, which produces multi-colored flowers. When allowed to grow, this crape myrtle can reach a height of about 20 feet and a width of about 20 feet. Other crape myrtle varieties may exhibit different growth patterns and sizes when mature.

Basic care of crape myrtle

Crape myrtle trees are valued for their hardiness, low maintenance, and colorful blooms. Crape myrtle can thrive in a variety of soil types, such as the alkaline dark clay found in much of north Texas. Crape myrtle is also drought tolerant but prone to overwatering or poor drainage.

In addition to proper pruning and removal of dead plant debris in the gaps between stems, crape myrtle can often benefit from fertilization and may require professional care if common health problems develop. Fortunately, there are few common crape myrtle health problems that pose a serious threat to the tree’s survival. Often just careful pruning will keep crape myrtle healthy and vigorous for decades.

The crape myrtle bark is thin and sheds throughout the year. Therefore, crape myrtle is easily damaged by lawnmowers, lawnmowers, and other activities. Planting a ground cover other than turfgrass around the crape myrtle, along with an appropriate mulch, can provide a cushion to protect the stems and roots.

Crepe Myrtle Care: Pruning!

Because of the often overwhelming growth habit of crape myrtle, many people are very aggressive when it comes to pruning. Don’t succumb to this desire to cut crape myrtle to the ground in late fall.

If you do, thin, unsightly new shoots will grow from the ugly stump in spring. Use common sense and cut off the top 2 or 3 feet of the branches before spring arrives. Do this carefully with pruning shears or secateurs, not an electric hedge trimmer.

Be sure to trim the crape myrtle side branches evenly so there are no ugly, stubby stumps sticking out. Cutting smoothly along the trunk, branches, or trunk creates a more beautiful silhouette and helps protect your tree from disease.

How to prune small crepe myrtle?


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