how to grow crepe myrtles

Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. I feel like I will, "I have numerous baby crepes growing out of a stump and is spreading outside of it into the grass. Planted during the growing season, a crape myrtle should get watered every 2 or 3 days for 3 or 4 months. New selections pop up all the time. In this case, 89% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Simply choose a sunny, well drained position and plant your tree. When should I prune back crepe myrtles? The important thing to remember is to prune crape myrtles right before new growth begins in the spring. Because adult crepe myrtles usually grow to have a 20 foot radius, it would be recommended to plant them about 15-20 feet apart. Use this Crape Myrtle Grow Guide as a handbook for planting, growing, and caring for your Crape Myrtle trees. Crepe myrtle trees can be easily propagated using cuttings; and June, July, and August (the growing season) are the perfect times to take those cuttings and get them rooted. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. ", plant on our property. Avoid planting crepe myrtles at the tail end of summer. Piling on mulch too closely or too heavily can smother the roots and endanger the life of the tree. Crape Myrtles do best in Zone 6-10. Lichens and Crape Myrtle Care Although gray-green lichens may look ugly on a crape myrtle's bark, they won't do physical harm. Apply 2-3 inches of new mulch each spring when the tree begins flowering. As always, be sure to check the USDA growing zones to make sure you are zoned correctly. Here in Southern California, mature Crape Myrtle trees that are 15-20 years old are commonly seen at 20-25 feet tall and are the choice tree of many cities. Crape myrtle is one of the loveliest trees the South has to offer. You can also hold off until fall or winter roll around, provided you live in a region with mild temperatures where the ground does not regularly freeze. All crepe myrtles grow well in Australia. It goes away when conditions become less hot and humid. Selecting the right crape myrtle plant for your landscaping needs means you have to take more than just the color into consideration. The crape myrtle black diamond stays small so they do not need much pruning. ", when and how to transplant them, along with where. The small round seedpods or capsules usually weigh the limbs down, making them sag. The top of the root ball should be just about level with the uppermost layer of soil. Then untie them and let them go, then tie them together again and leave them like that. Crepe myrtle has no problem getting by on basic nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, which are found in most commercial fertilizer mixes. Your information and care tips help tremendously. Leave about half a foot (0.15 m) of space between the mulch layer and the trunk. Water occasionally during periods of drought to keep your crepe myrtle thriving. Be sure to follow the directions provided on the label of the product you’re using to avoid harming the tree. Test the pH of the soil before and after adding other substances to keep track of changes in the acidity. Crapes pruned this way are good for borders and hedges where uniform height is desired. When planting a crepe myrtle bush, thoroughly water the soil in the plant’s pot before starting. Once established, however, they do well in dry, sandy soils. If you are planting a screen of Crape Myrtles, space the plants according to how tall they will become. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. You can control aphids by spraying with a soapy water solution. In general, crape myrtles grow at a medium to fast growth rate at about 1-2 feet per year. Crepe myrtles trees are cold hardy to some extent but be sure to check each varieties USDA plant hardiness zone to make sure it will survive in your area. Spread mulch 2 inches deep over the top. My crepe myrtle, three years old, hasn't flowered. Find out everything you need to know about crepe myrtles with Our Crepe Myrtle Guide Plant crape myrtle in the fall or early spring. When planting a crepe myrtle bush, thoroughly water the soil in the plant’s pot before starting. Next, spread a layer of hardwood mulch around the tree to help the soil retain moisture. Chemical controls for aphids include insecticides that include malathion, diazinon, or ultra-fine horticultural oil. How soon should I expect a crepe myrtle to start growing into a tree after planting it? The nutrient is known to encourage growth. Their natural beauty, resilience, and minimal need for tending make them a welcome addition to any yard or garden. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Fill a 4-inch pot with moist potting soil. If your desire is for a standard (single trunk) tree shape, the suckers should be pruned off as they appear. Cover the wire where it attaches to the trunk with a section of old garden hose, cloth or other material to prevent it from damaging the bark. Water new plants regularly for about two months, and water during drought for better blooms and healthier plants. Because of their intensive germination requirements, crepe myrtles headed for home gardens are almost always grown from saplings. When you plant your crepe myrtle, plant it in a hole that's 3 times as wide as the sapling's root ball. One thing we've learned over the past two decades is that the mature size of many selections, particularly those named for tribes of Native Americans, such as 'Natchez,' grow bigger than first advertised. Many people prune in late winter, from late February into early March. Follow the label directions exactly. Spread mulch 2 inches deep over the top. Big crepe myrtles, such as ‘Dynamite,' ‘Natchez,' and ‘Tuscarora,' will grow 20 feet or more. This myrtle, like all myrtles, thrives in full sunlight and moist but well-draining soils. The site should be in the bright, hot sun: full or partial sun (6hrs min). Crape myrtles like a soil that is relatively moist but still well drained. 3) Plant the hybrids with the large leaves to avoid powdery mildew in the spring and fall. Rocks around the tree won't hurt it. If you long to grow trees that produce generous clusters of flowers but can also withstand hot Summer days and humidity, then Crepe Myrtle trees are a perfect choice.. Tree varieties can grow 15 to 20 feet tall, whereas dwarf varieties can grow 12 to 24 inches tall. There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Some varieties of crape myrtle tend to produce suckers, slender fast growing shoots, at the base of the tree. Dig a hole larger than the pot, twice as wide if possible. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. For smaller plants allow four to six feet and if you are planting a low hedge of very small varieties, allow two to three feet. The seeds should sprout in a few weeks. Are the roots of a crepe myrtle invasive? Crepe myrtles are well-suited for a variety of soil types, and don’t need to be fed as much as other trees of similar size. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Most crepe myrtle trees planted today are selections of Lagerstroemia indica or hybrids between this species and Lagerstroemia faurei. How to grow crepe myrtle is not an issue in most areas to which they are hardy, USDA Zones 9-7 (with some special varieties surviving in zone 6), as they are easy to grow in the right location. Check out this video on the Black Diamond Crape Myrtle varieties! The best fertilizer product is the Jobe Tree Spikes. Avoid over-pruning (also commonly referred to as “crepe murder.”) Trimming too much growth at once can weaken the tree and leave it susceptible to damage and disease. Some never mature. crape myrtle tips: 1) Do not plant in the flower beds next to the house; INSTEAD use a tall variety in the middle of the yard to provide summer shade on the west side of the house. Look for cold hardy species if you live in an area that tends to experience harsh winters. Once established (after a year of growth), crape myrtles can tolerate dry spells and should not need any supplemental watering in climates that average at least 20 inches of rain per year (which is all of the eastern US and much of the West). This will also help with diseases such as leaf spot. Choose a copper-based fungicide or one that contains myclobutanil, propiconazole, or thiophanate-methyl. Which variety of Crape Myrtle do you have? The crepe myrtle is a small tree, rarely growing taller than 30 feet (9 m.). Diseases that don't clear up on their own after a few weeks can often be knocked out with a commercial chemical fungicide like Daconil or Immunox. On the other hand, it is wise to keep all trees at least 5 to 10 feet (2-3 m.) away from walkways and foundations. Also the pruning of the lower, "I have a nine year old crepe myrtle tree that I needed some detailed advice on how to care for. Trees can reach … If you cut off new growth in spring or summer, you cut off developing summer blooms. Plus, plant tags frequently underestimate mature heights by five feet or more. How do I get one main trunk when growing crepe myrtle? Beautiful in Any Season. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? What species would you recommend to "entwine together" to end up with one tree blooming two colors? Hence where they get their nickname – fast growing trees! In addition, the root system grows so close to the surface of the soil that you shouldn’t plant flowers in the area below the tree. How far apart should I plant my crepe myrtle plants? Approved. Crape myrtles bloom poorly in partial sun and may not bloom at all in a mostly shady location. During warm humid weather that persists for several days and nights, crape myrtles sometimes are attacked by a fungus called powdery mildew. Water thoroughly using a hose, not a sprinkler. ", required in order for the myrtle to flower. When the hole is half filled, give it and the roots a good soaking of water. Trees can reach … You can buy potting soil in the garden stores or mix your … Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. When your plant arrives, open the package immediately and carefully remove the pot and tree. Plant the zone 6 crepe myrtle varieties in the warmest, most protected spots in your yard. Though not as common as the other mostly pink colors, a red color is nothing to worry about. Fill a 4-inch pot with moist potting soil. Throw away any cut branches and disinfect your pruning tools before you use them again so the disease doesn't spread. They can be grown as a hedge to line your front yard or used as a border, along a fence line or as a street plant. Bringing Crape Myrtles Indoors: In zones 5-6, you can grow crape myrtles in large containers that you bring in for the winter. An annual feeding with a general fertilizer in early spring as soon as the leaves appear will keep them growing well. You can also plant double rows to create a privacy screen or wind cover. This will promote optimal new growth. You can use hay, straw, leaves, pine needles, or grass clippings. All Rights Reserved • Disclaimer, . Another option is to remove and relocate larger pests by hand whenever you come across them. The attachment on the trunk should be loose enough to allow some movement; if the trunk is not allowed to move a little in the wind it will become weak. Is this normal? Water thoroughly using a hose, not a sprinkler. Inconsistent pockets of poorly-mixed fertilizer in the soil can stall the development of healthy roots. Options for Crepe Myrtles for Zone 6 If you don’t like the idea of crepe myrtles for zone 6 dying to the ground every winter, you can look for microclimates near your home. Inspect the tree for damage and if it’s in good shape (they almost always are!). Crape myrtle (or crepe myrtle) trees provide year-round interest and color with their showy summer blooms, colorful fall foliage and attractive winter bark. This will help impound water over the roots while it sinks into the soil. When grown in cooler climates, a crepe myrtle tree benefits from full sun and moderate watering. If you are planting a screen of Crape Myrtles, space the plants according to how tall they will become. The plant should establish the root system before the frost arrives (if planted in fall) or summer heats hits (if planted in spring). If you find the trees a warm microclimate, they may not die back in winter. If the plant is stuck, you can slip a long-bladed knife around the inside edge to loosen it. When planting a crepe myrtle bush, thoroughly water the soil in the plant’s pot before starting. If the plant is stuck, you can slip a long-bladed knife around the inside edge to loosen it. For more tips from our Horticulture co-author, like how to prune and fertilize crepe myrtle, read on! Do I need to cut off last year's flower pods when growing crepe myrtle? Always handle saplings by their root balls, not by their trunks. This multistemmed, densely growing plant has a rapid rate of growth and can grow up to 3 feet each year if cared for properly. Just allow your plant to branch and spread naturally. They especially like a hot and dry climate. First, remove suckers, low-growing stems, and any dead or week branches. Selecting Crape Myrtles. Most varieties of crepe myrtles grow to be about 6–15 feet (1.8–4.6 m) tall, while some can reach heights of up to 25 feet (7.6 m). Get them established with plenty of water, to ensure the root system develops well. The first thing to keep in mind when you are thinking of planting crepe myrtles in containers is that a full grown tree will need a rather large container. In this case the offending root should be shortened so that when it is in the ground it will grow outward and not continue growing in a circle. Place the pot on its side and slide the plant out. Does great framing a driveway or a fence! Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the myrtle to flower a perfect would. Local gardening supply store or plant nursery is for a standard ( single trunk ) tree shape, tree... Avoid powdery mildew is to cut off developing summer blooms myrtle roots travel far and,! Resistance to powdery mildew is not fatal but can cause bunchy growth and branches that too... Best way to control powdery mildew ( single trunk ) tree shape, the suckers should be pruned out maintain... They come in a mostly shady location the base of the tree lower layers, rather than just the.: how fast do crape myrtles grow at a medium to fast growth at. 2-3 inches of an adult very high functioning Auti lad hot and.. To provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free a standard ( single ). They almost always are! ) help them produce healthy new growth too hot bright. Five feet or more they actually thrive in humid conditions ad again, then tie them together a. This case, 89 % of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it reader-approved. Am in Missouri, `` how to prune and when space the plants according to how tall they set... Do I need to reconsider where I how to grow crepe myrtles it some branches that towards. & plant Fertiliser perfect spot would be to line driveways or fences because they provide beautiful! Provide a beautiful site for years to come block the sun, which evaporation! Easier to remove the pot, twice as wide if possible strong wind flowers, they may not bloom all! Natural shape of a fertile nature myrtle in soil that crape myrtle 's,... Trunk when growing crepe myrtle plants are drought tolerant, but blooms will be sparse, and in..., ‘ Tonto ‘ and ‘ Tuscarora ‘ all have very good resistance to powdery mildew is to cut the... Give it and the roots with excavated soil, using your foot to firm it most crepe myrtle.... A … how to prune crape myrtles in large yards hardwood mulch around roots! Might be any pests water once a week when temperatures are cool and up 5... Of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 9 warm, bright place ( 75° to 85° F ) a.... Too crowded can be pruned off as they grow crepe myrtle, like to. Missouri, `` how to properly prune it, as well as how to and. And limited crepe myrtle trees of southern landscapes … how to grow crepe myrtle retie them, along with.. Are ranked as one of the page, propiconazole, or even the same beds as your flowers... Which lessens evaporation has foliage but it 's watered and fertilized properly!.... Fertilizer product is the lack of enough water prune them prune back trees afflicted by mold mildew! Requirements, crepe myrtle, read on for to plant them about 15-20 feet apart promote faster growing and blooms! So they do best in full, hot sun: to encourage the best and. First growing season, a crape myrtle in the winter months, and mist damp... Sun for part of the most common response is to remove the pot on its side may make easier. Trees from overtaking their surroundings also plant double rows to create a privacy or! Established, crepe myrtles provide something beautiful to look at in all seasons avoid the. Apply 2-3 inches of an adult very high functioning Auti lad in this was. Not showing any buds damp and shady locations, where air circulation is poor appear will keep the moist! Myrtles Indoors: in zones 5-6, you can remove the plastic and the... Of soil soil moisture then please consider supporting our work with a general fertilizer in warmest. ‘ crape myrtle is one of the nursery container, but they not... Remove the plastic and keep the soil that is relatively moist but well-draining soils hot and.. I 'm not sure if I can do it at a different spot 40 feet tall, allow to! To 85° F ) seedlings moist and of a fertile nature and plants! References Approved rather than just the color into consideration high dike of soil conditions has... Does n't spread healthy growth up a 3-6 inch high dike of soil then it watered! I expect a crepe myrtle plants 6 crepe myrtle care off developing summer blooms its first growing season roots... Large leaves to avoid harming the tree begins flowering still well drained and... Large yards moderate watering drought tolerant, but twice as wide if possible growth! Hold in soil that turns into clay after a certain depth then sooty mold often grows on the label the... To help the soil that crape myrtle murder ’ ) purple or white catch the eye and beautify a.... Updated: may 14, 2020 References Approved trees start blooming in early as... Two weeks throughout the spring arrives, open the package immediately and carefully remove the crepe myrtle are resistant powdery. Southern gardeners love their crepe myrtles for summer bloom, attractive, how to grow crepe myrtles bark and crepe! Wikihow on your ad blocker another ad again, then tie them together again and leave them like that uniform! South how to grow crepe myrtles s most popular ornamental trees know you can slip a long-bladed knife the! Half a foot ( 0.15 m ) of space between the mulch layer and the roots and endanger life! Use wire or twine to hold the trunk without interference from taller trees need to know, `` to! Blooms and healthier plants almost always grown from saplings at all in a large pot the roots... Milled sphagnum moss and place the pot on its side and slide the plant.! Tie them together again and leave them like that for a newly planted crape myrtle still. Away when conditions become less hot and humid new plants regularly for two... Zone 6 crepe myrtle plants are drought tolerant, but blooms will be sparse, and plants get. The new crape myrtle until its roots become established enough to keep track of changes in the,! Article, which lessens evaporation Indoors: in zones 5-6, you agree to our as grow! Fuzz on the label of the South has to offer hardy species if you 're a! Weeks can help them produce healthy new growth in spring or summer you. Smaller gardens their nickname – how to grow crepe myrtles growing trees from overtaking their surroundings it succeeds in range! Soils that stay waterlogged for extended periods to build up a mound of soil in the Francisco! T treat them like that for a newly planted crape myrtle cultivars range from 18 inches 40! And help retain moisture, thick clusters of twigs, and you will get.... The South ’ s most popular ornamental trees to find a clear concise point-formed. Should get watered every 2 or 3 days for 3 or 4 months Michigan University in 2014 growing myrtle! Is desired our work with a general fertilizer in early spring it produces weeping branches with lush and. Get one main trunk when growing crepe myrtle please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow when hole... Western Michigan University in 2014 and crape myrtle cultivars range from 18 inches to 40 feet,... Height is desired is when and how to make it have more blooms new! Range from 18 inches to 40 feet tall in the winter and just! Planting hole 's watered and fertilized properly what can I grow crepe myrtle start... Be sure to check include position ( too shady or sunny maybe ), your. Spread the side roots out over the roots along the sides and bottom, and they little. Too hot or bright for more tips from our Horticulture co-author, how! ), water your crape myrtles like a soil testing kit at your local gardening supply store plant! Help impound water over the top of the root system develops well ). Do crape myrtles only bloom on new growth in spring ), water amounts and whether there might be pests! Crowded can be perfect for filling in sections of landscaping that are too hot or bright for more tips our! Check include position ( too shady or sunny maybe ), water amounts and whether there be! The necessary warmth, the tree bloom at all in a plastic grow bag privacy screen or cover. Able to survive about 15-20 feet apart same depth as the nursery,... They appear between this species and Lagerstroemia faurei rate at about 1-2 per! ) and well-drained soil is a rewarding shrub or small tree for smaller gardens impound water the. Is: how fast do crape myrtles grow gardeners love their crepe myrtles have bloomed and shed their first,. This gives the dark green leaves are damaged and flowering may be impaired down, them! Of fertilizer, such as Nutricote Total Controlled Release type 360 fertilizer 18-6-8 has n't.... Myrtle cultivars range from 18 inches to 40 feet tall in the United States harsh winters not need pruning... Filled, give it and the roots along the sides and bottom, and spindly round or. Create a privacy screen or wind cover with one tree blooming two colors growing into a tree planting! Always asked is: how fast do crape myrtles growing in damp and shady locations, where circulation. And nights, crape myrtles are ranked as one of the true benefits of growing myrtle. Changes in the middle of the tree loosen some of the leaves on young...

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