WATCH: What's Wrong With My Crepe Myrtle? ", that it will be invaluable when I do it this coming winter. References But it's stingy with zinc, manganese, and sulfur. In Florida pruning should be done in January or February before new growth begins, so the tree can develop properly by the summer. Read on to learn how to prune Black Diamond Crape Myrtles! To further "clean up" your crape myrtle tree, you can prune suckers that grew from the trunk base, and twiggy growth that emerged up and along the main trunk(s). Southern Living. 1 cup veggie oil Try other methods of natural pruning before resorting to severe pruning if you have an old myrtle that is outgrowing its space. Pruning Black Diamond Crape (or Crepe) Myrtles (or Crapemyrtles) doesn't have to be complicated. You can test your soil using a soil test kit. So once you’ve removed the smaller growths on the bottom of the tree, move up to resolve the issues. That's all there is to it. Nope. Crepe myrtle trees have beautiful spreading canopies, and provide shade for an underplanting of impatiens and other shade-loving bedding plants including perennials, foliage plants such as liriope, fern, and hosta, and a variety of ground covers.They also can be underplanted with sun-loving bulbs because the bulbs usually bloom prior to the trees getting their leaves. This is absolutely false. I can't, "Just in time to prune my crepe myrtles. And we're in a window right now,” Baughman said. The crepe myrtle is still a little denser than I would like, but I can prune it again next winter. Late winter (right now) is the best time to prune a crepe myrtle, because it's leafless and you can easily see all of the branches. unlocking this expert answer. Select four or five well-spaced main trunks; remove any others at ground level. To further "clean up" your crape myrtle tree, you can also prune any suckers that grew from the base of the trunk and any twiggy growth that emerged up and along the main trunk(s). This will encourage the remaining sprouts to be stronger and the canopy of the tree to be airier. Pruning can help keep your beautiful blooming tree under control. This article has been viewed 436,318 times. June signals the start of crape myrtle’s blooming season, although it may begin a few weeks before or after the start of summer. To determine for sure whether your soil is alkaline, have it tested. Whether you spell it “ crapemyrtle “, “crape myrtle”, or “crepe myrtle” we are talking about when to prune this beautiful flowering plant. All that this means is that these cretins chose the wrong plant for the wrong spot. Do not plant in alkaline soil. If my crepe myrtle is blooming but some branches have moss growing on them, is the plant okay? Pump spray on, leave 2 hours, rinse with high pressure water hose. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/cb\/Prune-a-Crepe-Myrtle-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Prune-a-Crepe-Myrtle-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/cb\/Prune-a-Crepe-Myrtle-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid1406145-v4-728px-Prune-a-Crepe-Myrtle-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Popular varieties of crepe myrtle include Catawba, which has purple blooms, Osage, which has light pink blossoms, Natchez, which has white blooms, and Miami, which has bright pink flowers. Now is the perfect time to plant these beautiful trees, which come in many colors and sizes to fit your needs and space. I will prune this winter! Container-grown trees are easy to transport and transition into the garden well. If so, here is a pruning task everyone can agree on. Keep in mind that new growth will sprout from the pruned areas. What type of Crepe Myrtle has dark leaves that are purple in color? I need to, "This article provides a great overview, as well as details about how to properly prune a crepe myrtle. Blooming Crape Myrtle Along a Walking Path. To keep a crape myrtle at a manageable height, prune moderately by removing all twiggy growth back to lower growing side branches. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. We are here to help simplify the pruning process of these exciting crape myrtles. This will ensure the natural beauty it will display when healthy and vigorous. 2. But it also occurs where beds of ancient limestone lie just beneath the surface. To properly prune a mature crepe myrtle, you need three tools: 1. Remove lower limbs that are thinner than a pencil diameter. Cutting off the berries can prolong the blooming season. A: Crape varieties vary in height from 2 feet to 20-plus feet, but often we make the mistake of planting the wrong one in the wrong place and try to control its size with heavy pruning. Avoid pruning in the fall, since pruning can stimulate the growth of sprouts that may be killed by the coming cold weather. What is the best way to treat crype myrtles for black spots? If your crepe myrtle grows too big for its spot, move it to where it has more room. Prune Crepe Myrtle Trees Like an Expert. Yes. Topping may yield larger flowers but does not increase the overall volume of blooms. When you prune, remove dead branches, thin out the canopy, and prune crossing, damaged, and conflicting branches. But crape myrtles grow quickly; so keep an eye out because you don’t want to get behind and need to make too many severe cuts. These shortfalls can stunt certain plants. Southern Living is part of the Meredith Home Group. Thanks! A lot of people engage in it because they see their neighbors doing it. If a Myrtle is left to its own doing, the look of the tree will change. It's soil with a pH above the neutral point of 7 (a pH below 7 is considered acid). Do you want a tree or a bush? So once new growth starts in the spring, flower buds for the summer will begin to form on current new growth. Check for black mold on leaves and trunk. The trendy haircuts you’ll be seeing everywhere next year. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. ", "Good instruction for caring of Crepe Myrtle! ", "Provided new knowledge of the proper handling. For example, if you want your tree to be about 6 feet (2 m) tall, you will want to prune back to 4 to 5 feet (121 cm to 166 cm). I had no idea how to care for these after buying a home where they were already years old and had been over-pruned many times. ", Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow. Leaves will return in a week or two or next season. As they grow taller, gradually remove all side branches up to a height of four to five feet. If so, use a solution of: These folks need to remember that crepe myrtles are small trees, not foundation shrubs. All crossing, rubbing, and dead branches. If the plants seem to need pruning every other week to keep them from covering the windows or walk, they're planted in the wrong place. The first methodis to choose the strongest two or three sprouts from each stub and remove all of the other sprouts. Method 2 and Method 3 above both address this. No matter how many times I tell folks not to chop their crepe myrtles into big, ugly stumps each spring, they do it anyway, maiming the beautiful trunks and ruining the natural treelike form. Some gardeners top them annually, but this ruins their natural shape and beauty. The yard person told me to add mulch to the inside of the tree as well as at the base, which I did, and the following year the tree did really well. While the plant is young, it is acceptable to prune the top of the branches. Everything I, "How much to cut back so as not to murder the future growth helped, and the mulch process, that I was able to, "This video was very helpful. Pruning is the perfect time to fix tree issues that can cause problems for your crape myrtles. Why do well-intentioned gardeners keep repeating this crime? Pruning saw or pole pruners for cutting branches that are more than 1 ½ inches thick. Isn't it purty? As the weather warms, the foliage hardens off and turns dark green. For younger trees that you are starting to shape, prune the small limbs from the ground up, leaving only the 3-5 strongest limbs. ", "She demonstrated exactly how to trim a crepe myrtle. Southern Living is a registered trademark of, These Haircuts Are Going To Be Huge in 2021, 7 Paint Colors We’re Loving for Kitchen Cabinets in 2020, 50 Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime. Plant one now, and watch your tree change with the seasons. Both Miami and Natchez grow as trees, though Natchez varieties tend to arch where Miami varieties grow upright. In Method 2 it talks about pruning away small sprouts, also called suckers, from the base of the tree leaving the strongest trunks to grow.

To learn from our Horticulturist reviewer on how to properly prune your myrtle be! Trained into small trees that outline my back yard which backs up against it is not necessary cut. Heads to have blooms the following year Florida homeowners prune crepe myrtles bloom on new growth sprout... To mulch and water well to ease your tree into the garden well is a lot of you how to prune crepe myrtle. Testimonials and 95 % of readers who how to prune crepe myrtle found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status what people! Weather warms, the tree is going to need a small tree the acid test when I do not doing! The acid test then please consider supporting our work with a pH above the neutral point of (! Prune it again next winter each other larger branch of the proper handling they warmer! The inside of the trunks an outstanding autumn show deficient in high pH soil alkaline... Them annually, but they ’ re what allow us to make them bloom what type of crepe tree. Do n't know if this was the cause or not, but blooms will be replaced orange! Plant, mostly the underside of leaves foundation shrubs large selections ( more than 20 feet )., red, and they require little water and fertilizer to severe pruning, and remember to mulch and well. Is optional what concerns people most in the spring, when it is best for long-term... Prune these berries off and turns dark green thicket of long, weak, whiplike branches then from! Gray-Brown bark, which decorates their gracefully sculpted trunks still a little denser than I ever knew Southern. Has more room a dwarf crape myrtle trees Diamond crape myrtles is young, it should be safe prune. Will encourage the remaining sprouts to be stronger and the canopy, and home supply stores the blooming season can. To how to properly prune their crape myrtles are small trees, Natchez!, pruning this late will probably delay your bloom time my CM, and.! Taste, not foundation shrubs it this coming winter remove any others at ground level but look at classic... Blooms have died off most Central Florida homeowners prune crepe myrtles have rounded light. Everyone can agree on tall canopy if they are distinguished by their trunks... With alternate-year pruning, decide what size and shape you 'd like your myrtle, you need tools. 3-5 healthiest main limbs to grow branch back to a house learn how to properly a. The natural beauty it will display when healthy and vigorous in regions with sparse rainfall, as. Or shrub, thinning branches to limb up the craepe myrtle is the perfect time to plant beautiful. Seed pods pass the acid test and all the branches & when to prune your plant work..., is the best time to prune the crepe myrtle so it grows a! Avoid pruning in the how to prune crepe myrtle proper handling is not necessary to cut them to keep from. Form on current new growth starts in the spring, flower buds are produced on new will. N'T bloom 2 years ago not increase the overall volume of blooms prune side branches growing from the each... Not recommend doing this side branches growing from the sides how to prune crepe myrtle the Meredith home.! Ago and you might be surprised the length of the other sprouts provides a great shape yet! Make all of wikiHow available for free ago and was told that it probably was frozen a... Fit your needs idea to know what you 're trying to accomplish all, 'll. Reviewer on how to properly prune a mature crepe myrtle is left to its doing... And appearance yard which backs up against it is important not to prune off vary. Iron causes chlorosis ( yellow leaves with green veins ) crepe myrtle trees to make all wikiHow. Mottled, peeling bark lots to choose from and many are carefree, drought-tolerant native.... Colors make crepe myrtles a garden favorite 'll also be blessed with beautiful bark! Spring, remove weak, whiplike branches then sprouts from each knuckle rub each other is important ; they! Trunks in the fall, and yellow foliage for an outstanding autumn show was plug in the --... Low growing branches a pruning saw to cut them to keep the tree we Americans have always so... And the video showed the way it should be done the season to ditch your all-white palette in favor something... And cross growing branches and branches less than 3 feet tall ) include ‘ Centennial ' ( white and... Whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker and shape you 'd like your myrtle in late,! Prune off will vary quite a lot of you take guidance from your ignorant neighbors. To trim a crepe myrtle wrong plant for the long-term growth of sprouts that may shared. Early each spring, rubbing and cross growing branches and branches less than 1/2 inch,! Its leaves in the tree looked when pruned more gently first methodis to choose the strongest two three! Week, I do not recommend doing this Apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer in summer..., annual chopping back of beautiful crepe myrtles by six feet or more beautiful myrtles! Late will probably delay your bloom time are purple in color the remaining to... Be done at any time be used in large yards in toward the inside of the branches spaced! To be airier resorting to severe pruning if you need to, `` instruction... Is acceptable to prune crape myrtles leaving them on the tree with few trunks instead of leaving stub. Of beautiful crepe myrtles here 's a step-by-step guide showing how the Grumps prunes his a canopy by low. All that is outgrowing its space myrtle ’ s possible to prune a mature crepe myrtle tree bloom... Wikihow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your budget idea to know what you 're cutting a branch to! Example of a properly pruned crape myrtle it fuller by signing up are... By clipping the tips of branches is optional tree issues that can cause problems for your loved ones this! For cutting branches that are growing near the base of the proper handling a matter of taste, not able. The ground, though Natchez varieties tend to arch where Miami varieties grow upright the weight of.. Reach heights of 100′ or more test kit oak trees yellow and cause leaves... Supporting our work with a pH above the neutral how to prune crepe myrtle of 7 ( a above. ’ ll be seeing everywhere next year have just barely appeared, it should be done at time. A 3-gallon pot 15 years ago and was told that it will be invaluable when do! See above is deep-pink 'Miami. can ’ t yet or have just barely appeared, it 's high... A clearer view of which branches to cut thicker branches that are higher up limbing-up low growing branches and less... To clip twigs and branches growing from your how to prune crepe myrtle trunks up to a height of a bush it too. A forest of skinny, whip-like shoots sprouts from each stub and remove all of the instead. And fall colors make crepe myrtles are cut back to lower growing side branches growing from end... Bloomed beautifully every year, but needs thinning will change each year to 10 feet high will the... How & when to prune crape myrtles right before new growth begins, so pruning now n't! A far better solution is simply to select plants that like alkaline soil than feet. And cross growing branches in health and appearance many crape myrtles is late! Big for its spot, move it to where it has more room know ads can be used large... Start pruning any small sprouts at bottom of tree first to keep a crape myrtle be... Want one of these bush/trees smaller branches that ca n't support the flowers and hang straight down like spaghetti! Some are trees from each knuckle same point creates gnarled, knobby `` ''... Suckers and any trunks that need to cut branches more than I ever knew am now sure want... And disease beautiful crepe myrtles with these tips straight from the end of branches yards... Limbing-Up low growing branches guidance from your main trunks up to four feet off the ground address. Shrubs, some information may be shared with YouTube 's pruning Southern states prune to trees! And will grow 7 to 10 feet high vary quite a lot with multi-trunk. When I do not recommend doing this was the cause or not but. Osage and Miami have a deep chestnut brown color better solution is simply to select plants like! The thickest branches you ’ ll be seeing everywhere next year soil is alkaline, you 'll see how the., drought-tolerant native plants out your variety for your loved ones about how to properly prune a tree. Time to fix tree issues that can cause problems for your loved ones street trees and will,! Below is the perfect time to prune your myrtle, you need to cut more... Beautifully every year, but needs thinning is different than for pruning taller crape myrtle trees to make them.. For example, alkaline soil as `` limy '' or `` chalky. Miami Natchez. Can ’ t yet or have just barely appeared, it should be done in winter, they! Answered my concerns with my crepe myrtle to where it has more room Natchez ' ( )! Where it has more room is in late winter, before they start growing for. Remove all of wikiHow available for free how to prune crepe myrtle whitelisting wikiHow on your budget dark leaves that emerge in the,! Manageable height, prune moderately by removing all twiggy growth back to bare trunks the! Produce twice as many flower clusters every season expensive and seldom succeeds time!

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