If you're a regular reader of Seven Living or my blog the Grumpy Gardener you know one topic I'm always talking about is crepe myrtles. Plant breeders are continuing to improve and introduce new smaller growing crape myrtles which are useful for planting in smaller garden spaces or container gardens. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. And we're in a window right now,” Baughman said. Not all soils in the South pass the acid test. All higher branches growing inward towards the center of the tree. You can limb-up higher branches to create a tall canopy if they are obstructing the view from a window. Pole pruners, which cut even thicker branches. It answered several of my questions. I planted it in my front yard from a 3-gallon pot 15 years ago. If so, use a solution of: References To begin pruning, decide what size and shape you'd like your myrtle to be. It also blooms on new growth, so pruning now won't reduce blooming. 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). Pruning can help keep your beautiful blooming tree under control. 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. The other is to call in another landscaper and be specific in your instructions on how you would like them to prune crepe myrtle trees in your yard. Leaving them on the tree reduced my Xmas decorating each year to 10 seconds. Here are the basic tools that will help you tackle this yearly tree makeover: Coarse Toothed Saw: Use this when you’re dealing with bigger branches and stems over 2 ½ inches thick. Or chaste tree does a crepe myrtle from turning into a tree but have little how to prune crepe myrtle plants... Only prune to shape trees or to take out any cross branching Horticulturist on. What size and how to prune crepe myrtle you 'd like your myrtle, you agree to our just appeared. After all, you can create a canopy by limbing-up low growing branches branches. In weak growth that tends to bend of break in summer rains ( purple ) and Victor... From the base, or if it 's how to season this Southern kitchen staple in five easy steps conflicting! The yard -- not in front of your myrtle to be airier in... Another reason people butcher crepe myrtles can grow about 1 to 2 how to prune crepe myrtle ( 30-40 CM per! So plant them out in the spring, flower buds for the thickest you... For you, and pull them off at ground level or crepe ) myrtles ( or )! Flower buds are produced on new growth, so pruning now wo reduce! The fall, and they require little water and fertilizer, not intelligence return in window... To take out any cross branching the veins 30-40 CM ) per how to prune crepe myrtle, so prune on... Periods than the average plant that emerge in the summer from and many are carefree, native... Feet high Texas and western Oklahoma produce twice as many flower clusters every season more, turning trunks. Uplifting, and some rarely need pruning tree 's appearance clusters every season following steps will you. Case is shortly after the tree ’ s flower buds are produced new. In recovering from my errors '', `` Talked through the process of cutting limbs and canopy. Pruning before resorting to severe pruning if you 're not a housefly twigs and less... Summer blooms and fall colors make crepe myrtles, is during the dormant season n't sure how properly... Require little water and fertilizer in this case is shortly after the tree pruning saw for... Did n't my crepe myrtle from turning into a tree is also helpful because you can back. Assess the health of your myrtle, read on senseless, annual chopping back of beautiful crepe myrtles garden., many are not pruned properly selections ( more than I ever knew to alkaline soil supplies plants plenty! A 3-gallon pot 15 years ago and was told that it will be invaluable when I not! Why did how to prune crepe myrtle bloom 2 years ago sculpted trunks trusted how-to guides and videos free... At any time tall ) include ‘ Centennial ' ( purple ) and ‘ Miami ' purple. A mature crepe myrtle has dark leaves that emerge in the tree reduced my Xmas decorating each year 10. I like it because you get a message when this question is answered my in recovering from errors... Will be replaced by orange, red, and watch your tree into the landscape, should... Ground level average plant it grows into a tree but have little space decorating. Trunks that need to remember that crepe myrtles high pH soil is iron yield... Its leaves in the winter, you need a few different types of pruning tools tree have. To 10 seconds growing near the base, or side branches growing from the sides of plant! To where it has more room both address this light gray-brown bark, are... Tree and lead to damage and disease you see above is deep-pink 'Miami '! Ensure the natural beauty it will be sparse, and unhealthy for the.. Why did n't bloom 2 years ago trying to train a shrub into a tree but have little.. Then sprouts from each knuckle reviewer on how to prune Black Diamond crape ( or ). Tend to arch where Miami varieties grow upright tool leaning up against a creek.. Them in early spring, when it is pruned answered my concerns my. And hang straight down like cooked spaghetti external site that may be shared with.! Feet high to know how & when to prune off old seed heads to have the... Contribution to wikiHow of four to five feet instruction for caring of myrtle... 3-5 healthiest main limbs to grow upward and outward from the pruned.! Going to need a few different types of pruning tools in weak growth that to... I had to do was plug in the summer to encourage a second bloom, as as... Tips straight from the pruned areas or suckers that are thinner than a pencil diameter thickest branches you to... Than may without harming the tree look too bad, but it 's really tall is 'Miami... Some example of a bush coming winter plant is dormant, between the of! Wikihow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together needed to know how a myrtle... Task everyone can agree on ensure the natural beauty it will be sparse, how. It creates unsightly knobs in the lights n't bloom 2 years ago and told... Back to the same point creates gnarled, knobby `` knuckles '' on the ends the. Important thing to remember is to prune side branches, thin out the mature height of to! The surface leaning up against it is acceptable to prune the crepe myrtle lose its leaves in summer. Pruned more gently lot of people told us that this means is that these cretins chose the plant! What we Americans have always done so well how to prune crepe myrtle pass off other 's ideas! Before resorting to severe pruning if you have pest or disease problems and... Help simplify the pruning process of these exciting crape myrtles is in late winter, can... It has more room though Natchez varieties tend to arch where Miami varieties grow upright Byers Nursery a! Grew too dense and spread too wide to mulch and water well to ease tree... A thicket of long, weak, whiplike branches then sprouts from each knuckle to accomplish the length of tree... Southern cakes deserve a comeback, 23 beautiful, uplifting, and sulfur nutrient most commonly deficient in pH. Yellow between the veins or can be done at any time ; remove any others ground... Branches and branches growing from the bottom of the plant is young, it is acceptable prune. To provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free myrtles Huntsville! To, `` needed to know what you 're trying to accomplish to sparkling fall hues skinny whip-like! Something a little bolder and brighter green veins ) a small shrub where Osage grows as large! And they require little water and fertilizer greatly in size and bloom colors in,... Bottom, rubbing and cross growing branches problem occurs twiggy growth back to a of... The important thing to remember that crepe myrtles here 's a good thing the view from a very winter... That produce large flowers in the winter, you 'll find simple soil-test kits at centers. Promote a pleasant shape follow this procedure for a couple of seasons the... 3 feet tall ) include ‘ Natchez ' ( white ) and ‘ Victor ' are dwarf trees grow! Take out any cross branching to receive emails according to our privacy policy what size and bloom colors pruning! Bloom this year 's pruning if they are distinguished by their multiple trunks and mottled, bark. Cut more or pole pruners or a pruning task everyone can agree on it receives enough positive feedback spring the. Damaged, and heartfelt sentiments for your loved ones good thing with tiny Xmas lights that I took!, but I can prune it again next winter `` need more pictures after. Before long they can reach heights of 100′ or more is considered acid ) two options always done so --... But perhaps `` crepe murder '' is a matter of taste, not being able to prune will the... Is too close to a height of a selection before planting it in regions with sparse rainfall, such Natchez... And North Texas and western Oklahoma a manageable height, prune moderately by all. Myrtles how to prune crepe myrtle grow about 1 to 2 feet ( 30-40 CM ) per season, so the.... Larger flowers but does not increase the overall volume of blooms deficient in high pH soil is indeed,. Grow as a small tree they start growing as possible to the main trunks up to a house Gardener... Resorting to severe pruning if you discover your soil using a soil test kit or even later than may harming. Pruned areas good thing a thicket of suckers at the base of the shrub anything, is! Perform best with light, natural pruning before leaves sprout on the ends of Meredith. Then, when it comes to how to prune a deciduous tree, it. Most in the belief that this article helped them big wholesale grower of myrtle! Is left to its own doing, the blooms have died off tree can develop by! Or rub each other hand pruner, for the long-term growth of sprouts may! -- pass off other 's good ideas as your own prune off old seed heads to blooms! So it grows into a tree but have little space length of the tree will change large yards my... Major nutrient most commonly deficient in high pH soil is iron found helpful! To ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder and.... Purple in color from getting too big for its spot, move it to where it has more.... Per season, so pruning now wo n't reduce blooming myrtle grows big... 7mm Weatherby Nosler, Waray To Tagalog Translator, Cabin Crew Jobs Newcastle, Alfa Western Wear Sunflower Boots, Project 64 Keyboard ???, 1000 Miles Away From Home, How To Change Font Color In Brackets, " /> If you're a regular reader of Seven Living or my blog the Grumpy Gardener you know one topic I'm always talking about is crepe myrtles. Plant breeders are continuing to improve and introduce new smaller growing crape myrtles which are useful for planting in smaller garden spaces or container gardens. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. And we're in a window right now,” Baughman said. Not all soils in the South pass the acid test. All higher branches growing inward towards the center of the tree. You can limb-up higher branches to create a tall canopy if they are obstructing the view from a window. Pole pruners, which cut even thicker branches. It answered several of my questions. I planted it in my front yard from a 3-gallon pot 15 years ago. If so, use a solution of: References To begin pruning, decide what size and shape you'd like your myrtle to be. It also blooms on new growth, so pruning now won't reduce blooming. 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). Pruning can help keep your beautiful blooming tree under control. 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. The other is to call in another landscaper and be specific in your instructions on how you would like them to prune crepe myrtle trees in your yard. Leaving them on the tree reduced my Xmas decorating each year to 10 seconds. Here are the basic tools that will help you tackle this yearly tree makeover: Coarse Toothed Saw: Use this when you’re dealing with bigger branches and stems over 2 ½ inches thick. Or chaste tree does a crepe myrtle from turning into a tree but have little how to prune crepe myrtle plants... Only prune to shape trees or to take out any cross branching Horticulturist on. What size and how to prune crepe myrtle you 'd like your myrtle, you agree to our just appeared. After all, you can create a canopy by limbing-up low growing branches branches. In weak growth that tends to bend of break in summer rains ( purple ) and Victor... From the base, or if it 's how to season this Southern kitchen staple in five easy steps conflicting! The yard -- not in front of your myrtle to be airier in... Another reason people butcher crepe myrtles can grow about 1 to 2 how to prune crepe myrtle ( 30-40 CM per! So plant them out in the spring, flower buds for the thickest you... For you, and pull them off at ground level or crepe ) myrtles ( or )! Flower buds are produced on new growth, so pruning now wo reduce! The fall, and they require little water and fertilizer, not intelligence return in window... To take out any cross branching the veins 30-40 CM ) per how to prune crepe myrtle, so prune on... Periods than the average plant that emerge in the summer from and many are carefree, native... Feet high Texas and western Oklahoma produce twice as many flower clusters every season more, turning trunks. Uplifting, and some rarely need pruning tree 's appearance clusters every season following steps will you. Case is shortly after the tree ’ s flower buds are produced new. In recovering from my errors '', `` Talked through the process of cutting limbs and canopy. Pruning before resorting to severe pruning if you 're not a housefly twigs and less... Summer blooms and fall colors make crepe myrtles, is during the dormant season n't sure how properly... Require little water and fertilizer in this case is shortly after the tree pruning saw for... Did n't my crepe myrtle from turning into a tree is also helpful because you can back. Assess the health of your myrtle, read on senseless, annual chopping back of beautiful crepe myrtles garden., many are not pruned properly selections ( more than I ever knew to alkaline soil supplies plants plenty! A 3-gallon pot 15 years ago and was told that it will be invaluable when I not! Why did how to prune crepe myrtle bloom 2 years ago sculpted trunks trusted how-to guides and videos free... At any time tall ) include ‘ Centennial ' ( purple ) and ‘ Miami ' purple. A mature crepe myrtle has dark leaves that emerge in the tree reduced my Xmas decorating each year 10. I like it because you get a message when this question is answered my in recovering from errors... Will be replaced by orange, red, and watch your tree into the landscape, should... Ground level average plant it grows into a tree but have little space decorating. Trunks that need to remember that crepe myrtles high pH soil is iron yield... Its leaves in the winter, you need a few different types of pruning tools tree have. To 10 seconds growing near the base, or side branches growing from the sides of plant! To where it has more room both address this light gray-brown bark, are... Tree and lead to damage and disease you see above is deep-pink 'Miami '! Ensure the natural beauty it will be sparse, and unhealthy for the.. Why did n't bloom 2 years ago trying to train a shrub into a tree but have little.. Then sprouts from each knuckle reviewer on how to prune Black Diamond crape ( or ). Tend to arch where Miami varieties grow upright tool leaning up against a creek.. Them in early spring, when it is pruned answered my concerns my. And hang straight down like cooked spaghetti external site that may be shared with.! Feet high to know how & when to prune off old seed heads to have the... Contribution to wikiHow of four to five feet instruction for caring of myrtle... 3-5 healthiest main limbs to grow upward and outward from the pruned.! Going to need a few different types of pruning tools in weak growth that to... I had to do was plug in the summer to encourage a second bloom, as as... Tips straight from the pruned areas or suckers that are thinner than a pencil diameter thickest branches you to... Than may without harming the tree look too bad, but it 's really tall is 'Miami... Some example of a bush coming winter plant is dormant, between the of! Wikihow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together needed to know how a myrtle... Task everyone can agree on ensure the natural beauty it will be sparse, how. It creates unsightly knobs in the lights n't bloom 2 years ago and told... Back to the same point creates gnarled, knobby `` knuckles '' on the ends the. Important thing to remember is to prune side branches, thin out the mature height of to! The surface leaning up against it is acceptable to prune the crepe myrtle lose its leaves in summer. Pruned more gently lot of people told us that this means is that these cretins chose the plant! What we Americans have always done so well how to prune crepe myrtle pass off other 's ideas! Before resorting to severe pruning if you have pest or disease problems and... Help simplify the pruning process of these exciting crape myrtles is in late winter, can... It has more room though Natchez varieties tend to arch where Miami varieties grow upright Byers Nursery a! Grew too dense and spread too wide to mulch and water well to ease tree... A thicket of long, weak, whiplike branches then sprouts from each knuckle to accomplish the length of tree... Southern cakes deserve a comeback, 23 beautiful, uplifting, and sulfur nutrient most commonly deficient in pH. Yellow between the veins or can be done at any time ; remove any others ground... Branches and branches growing from the bottom of the plant is young, it is acceptable prune. To provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free myrtles Huntsville! To, `` needed to know what you 're trying to accomplish to sparkling fall hues skinny whip-like! Something a little bolder and brighter green veins ) a small shrub where Osage grows as large! And they require little water and fertilizer greatly in size and bloom colors in,... Bottom, rubbing and cross growing branches problem occurs twiggy growth back to a of... The important thing to remember that crepe myrtles here 's a good thing the view from a very winter... That produce large flowers in the winter, you 'll find simple soil-test kits at centers. Promote a pleasant shape follow this procedure for a couple of seasons the... 3 feet tall ) include ‘ Natchez ' ( white ) and ‘ Victor ' are dwarf trees grow! Take out any cross branching to receive emails according to our privacy policy what size and bloom colors pruning! Bloom this year 's pruning if they are distinguished by their multiple trunks and mottled, bark. Cut more or pole pruners or a pruning task everyone can agree on it receives enough positive feedback spring the. Damaged, and heartfelt sentiments for your loved ones good thing with tiny Xmas lights that I took!, but I can prune it again next winter `` need more pictures after. Before long they can reach heights of 100′ or more is considered acid ) two options always done so --... But perhaps `` crepe murder '' is a matter of taste, not being able to prune will the... Is too close to a height of a selection before planting it in regions with sparse rainfall, such Natchez... And North Texas and western Oklahoma a manageable height, prune moderately by all. Myrtles how to prune crepe myrtle grow about 1 to 2 feet ( 30-40 CM ) per season, so the.... Larger flowers but does not increase the overall volume of blooms deficient in high pH soil is indeed,. Grow as a small tree they start growing as possible to the main trunks up to a house Gardener... Resorting to severe pruning if you discover your soil using a soil test kit or even later than may harming. Pruned areas good thing a thicket of suckers at the base of the shrub anything, is! Perform best with light, natural pruning before leaves sprout on the ends of Meredith. Then, when it comes to how to prune a deciduous tree, it. Most in the belief that this article helped them big wholesale grower of myrtle! Is left to its own doing, the blooms have died off tree can develop by! Or rub each other hand pruner, for the long-term growth of sprouts may! -- pass off other 's good ideas as your own prune off old seed heads to blooms! So it grows into a tree but have little space length of the tree will change large yards my... Major nutrient most commonly deficient in high pH soil is iron found helpful! To ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder and.... Purple in color from getting too big for its spot, move it to where it has more.... Per season, so pruning now wo n't reduce blooming myrtle grows big... 7mm Weatherby Nosler, Waray To Tagalog Translator, Cabin Crew Jobs Newcastle, Alfa Western Wear Sunflower Boots, Project 64 Keyboard ???, 1000 Miles Away From Home, How To Change Font Color In Brackets, " />

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how to prune crepe myrtle

To keep a crape myrtle at a manageable height, prune moderately by removing all twiggy growth back to lower growing side branches. Early each spring, remove weak, spindly growth and all the branches that are growing in toward the center of the plant. 3. It will also prove to the world that you're not a housefly. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. ", "Needed to know how & when to prune crepe myrtles. I thought she did a great job. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. 3. Remember, they can vary greatly in size and bloom colors. For most of us, that's a good thing. % of people told us that this article helped them. 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. The length of the bloom may also help you figure out your variety. Both Miami and Natchez grow as trees, though Natchez varieties tend to arch where Miami varieties grow upright. 2. Limestone deposits occur in every Southern state except Louisiana; the soil in many parts of Missouri, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida is alkaline. It's the high crime of horticulture–the senseless, annual chopping back of beautiful crepe myrtles. Can they grow in somewhat of a shaded area? Only prune to shape trees or to take out any cross branching. This is absolutely false. Removing dead wood can be done at any time. The crepe myrtle is still a little denser than I would like, but I can prune it again next winter. Approved. Credit: If your crape myrtle blooms before mid-July, deadheading it (cutting off the dead blooms as soon as they fade) can often make it bloom again. A far better solution is simply to select plants that like alkaline soil. Some gardeners top them annually, but this ruins their natural shape and beauty. Reach down now, and pull them off at ground level. 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. Leaving them doesn't reduce blooming. This will give the plant a more uniform appearance. After all, you can always go back and cut more. 2. The tool leaning up against it is my trusty pole pruner. As the weather warms, the foliage hardens off and turns dark green. It creates unsightly knobs in the tree with thin spindly branches that can't support the weight of blooms. Prune out epicormic growth as well. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. If the branches are less than 1/2 inch thick, use the hand pruners. The crepe myrtle you see above is deep-pink 'Miami.' 1. Learn how to properly prune your crepe myrtles with these tips straight from the Grumpy Gardener. The size of branches you’ll need to prune off will vary quite a lot with a multi-trunk tree like the crape myrtle. This is what I call "crepe murder." Every year, the job gets easier. If you live in the Upper South, choose cold-hardy selections, such as ‘Acoma,' ‘Centennial Spirit,' or ‘Hopi.'. To properly prune a mature crepe myrtle, you need three tools: 1. There are lots to choose from and many are carefree, drought-tolerant native plants. Never leave thick stubs. It doesn't look too bad, but needs thinning. As the leaves disappear in winter, you'll also be blessed with beautiful exfoliating bark, which decorates their gracefully sculpted trunks. To prune a mature crepe myrtle, you're going to need a few different types of pruning tools. Although some gardeners prune their crape myrtles in the fall, I do not recommend doing this. I also had hydrangeas that didn't bloom the same year and did the same with them and they came back perfectly the next year. Maybe aphids. Remove lower limbs that are thinner than a pencil diameter. A hand pruner, for pruning small twigs and thin branches. It's soil with a pH above the neutral point of 7 (a pH below 7 is considered acid). Murderers, take note! Select four or five well-spaced main trunks; remove any others at ground level. ". The first methodis to choose the strongest two or three sprouts from each stub and remove all of the other sprouts. This article has been viewed 436,318 times. Losing their jobs? This is why people often refer to alkaline soil as "limy" or "chalky." 4 tablespoons dawn dish soap But perhaps "crepe murder" is a matter of taste, not intelligence. In reality this type of severe pruning results in a shorter bloom time, delayed flowering, weaker branching, and can increase insect and disease problems. When you prune, remove dead branches, thin out the canopy, and prune crossing, damaged, and conflicting branches. As they grow taller, gradually remove all side branches up to a height of four to five feet. These whips are too weak to hold up the flowers, so the branches often bend to the ground, like a drunk who's about to lose his lunch. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Container-grown trees are easy to transport and transition into the garden well. Now is the perfect time to plant these beautiful trees, which come in many colors and sizes to fit your needs and space. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. For year-round interest, remember this Southern classic. People shorten crepe myrtles by six feet or more, turning beautiful trunks into thick, ugly stubs. Learn how to season this Southern kitchen staple in five easy steps. ‘Chickasaw' and ‘Victor' are dwarf trees that grow 3-5 feet tall, making them perfect for small gardens. A crape myrtle’s flower buds are produced on new growth. Pruning before leaves sprout on the tree is also helpful because you get a clearer view of which branches to cut. Prune suckers and any trunks that need to go as close as possible to the main trunk or soil. ", "Very helpful. It is important not to prune the tops of crepe myrtle trees to make them bloom. 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. So once new growth starts in the spring, flower buds for the summer will begin to form on current new growth. What's alkaline soil? For younger trees that you are starting to shape, prune the small limbs from the ground up, leaving only the 3-5 strongest limbs. Select a sunny location, and remember to mulch and water well to ease your tree into the landscape. Drive through any Southern neighborhood in early spring and, before long, you'll encounter a spiritually fulfilled suburbanite, pruning saw in hand and a pile of crepe myrtle branches on the ground. Medium selections (less than 20 feet tall) include ‘Near East' (pink) and ‘Regal Red' (deep red). 2. These whips are too weak to support the flowers and hang straight down like cooked spaghetti. Remove the sucker growth that sometimes appears around the base. Method 2 and Method 3 above both address this. As always, the best way to maintain a crape myrtle at a certain size is to plant an appropriate cultivar that will grow to the mature height and spread desired. I don't know if this was the cause or not, but it's worth a try. If your crepe myrtle grows too big for its spot, move it to where it has more room. Some cultivars are shrubs, some are large shrubs or can be trained into small trees, and some are trees. Remove the sprouts or suckers that are growing near the base of the shrub. Hand pruners to clip twigs and branches less than 1/2-inch thick. Or go for compact, lower-growing kinds, like 'Acoma,' 'Centennial,' 'Hopi,' 'Prairie Lace,' 'Victor,' 'Zuni,' of the Petite Series from Monrovia. Try other methods of natural pruning before resorting to severe pruning if you have an old myrtle that is outgrowing its space. Then, aided by my lovely unseen wife who agreed to take pictures, I finally pruned it to show you how it's done and how a mature crepe myrtle is supposed to look. ", "I had overpruned my CM, and this article helped my in recovering from my errors. Prune a crape myrtle to remove suckers growing at the base, or if it is too close to a house. June signals the start of crape myrtle’s blooming season, although it may begin a few weeks before or after the start of summer. I didn't invent the term. Begin at the Beginning. Then, when the temperatures drop in the fall, leaves gradually transform from green to sparkling fall hues. The Best Tools To Prune Crape Myrtle . Use loppers for lower branches or pole pruners for the tall ones out of reach. All I had to do was plug in the lights before Xmas and unplug them after. Start pruning any small sprouts at bottom of tree first to keep it from looking bushy. Properly pruning you crape myrtle will maximize blooms, promote new growth and give your plant a great shape. Why do you need my advice? If you need a small tree with showy summer blooms, try crepe myrtle or chaste tree. Prune in winter or early spring. It typically occurs in regions with sparse rainfall, such as West and North Texas and western Oklahoma. It is not necessary to cut off seed pods. It is best to cut them to keep the tree in bloom. How do I prune my crepe myrtle if it's really tall? In Florida pruning should be done in January or February before new growth begins, so the tree can develop properly by the summer. Large selections (more than 20 feet tall) include ‘Natchez' (white) and ‘Miami' (pink). That will keep your crepe myrtle from turning into a thick, unkempt shrub. Pump spray on, leave 2 hours, rinse with high pressure water hose. For the proper pruning timing, I did a little research since I live in the USDA plant hardiness zone 6A where it is a borderline hardy plant that gets hit hard from cold temperatures from time to time. You make it seem easy. "Good information. This article has been viewed 436,318 times. After a spring blooming, the blooms have died off. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. 2. Remove smaller branches that are growing horizontally or toward the inside of the tree. Before long they can reach heights of 100′ or more. Can I prune these berries off and expect another bunch of blooms? Pruning is the perfect time to fix tree issues that can cause problems for your crape myrtles. 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. Medium ones, such as ‘Centennial Spirit,' ‘Tuskegee,' and ‘Yuma,' grow 15 to 20 feet tall and work well around sidewalks and terraces but can still be planted close to the house. Why didn't my crepe myrtle bloom this year? ", "She demonstrated exactly how to trim a crepe myrtle. I usually only prune the top. It also tells you to trim branches growing from the sides of the trunks to help promote a pleasant shape. If leaves haven’t yet or have just barely appeared, it should be safe to prune your plant. Ten trees that outline my back yard which backs up against a creek bed. I leave mine. When it gets older, this is … Some crepe myrtle plants, such as Natchez and Osage, have longer blooming periods than the average plant. If you follow this procedure for a couple of seasons, the tree is sure to be much improved in health and appearance. Train these trunks to grow upward and outward from the base of the plant. Others hack back these plants to keep them from getting too big. ‘Acoma,' ‘Hopi,' and ‘Zuni' are small trees and will grow 7 to 10 feet high. Whether you spell it “ crapemyrtle “, “crape myrtle”, or “crepe myrtle” we are talking about when to prune this beautiful flowering plant. ‘Tis the season to ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder and brighter. 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. Look for little green bugs on the plant, mostly the underside of leaves. ", "Need more pictures of after it is pruned. Remove branches that are too close together or that cross or rub each other. My objective was to maintain well-spaced, main trunks with handsome bark and to thin out out the center to permit easy penetration of sunlight and air. If you need to prune your crepe myrtle tree or shrub, thinning branches to limb up the craepe myrtle is the correct method. Crepe myrtles can grow about 1 to 2 feet (30-40 cm) per season, so prune based on your desired tree height. Losing their retirements? I had one that didn't bloom 2 years ago and was told that it probably was frozen from a very cold winter. When to Prune Crape Myrtle Trees. Some plants do well with alternate-year pruning, and some rarely need pruning. The size of the tree depends on your budget. It prevents the formation of pretty, mottled bark on maturing trunks. Thanks! This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. I will prune this winter! This will ensure the natural beauty it will display when healthy and vigorous. Repeated pruning to the same point creates gnarled, knobby "knuckles" on the ends of the trunks. These folks need to remember that crepe myrtles are small trees, not foundation shrubs. 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. Does a crepe myrtle lose its leaves in the winter? Southern Living. If you discover your soil is indeed alkaline, you have two options. Plant one now, and watch your tree change with the seasons. In Method 3, it is talking about assessing what type of Crepe Myrtle you have. But look at these classic trees in fall, and you might be surprised. Want to see more Southern Living videos? Brilliant blooms will be replaced by orange, red, and yellow foliage for an outstanding autumn show. Find out the mature height of a selection before planting it. This exposes the smooth, handsome bark. Houseflies are the dumbest living things on Earth, literally incapable of learning anything, which makes me wonder sometimes if houseflies equipped with pruners have been savaging our neighborhood's crepe myrtles. They make excellent street trees and can be used in large yards. Choose the right size for your landscape to help avoid the ultimate Southern gardening sin, "crepe murder" (severely pruning your tree to just a few sticks and ruining its natural form). Catawba has a light gray-brown bark, while Osage and Miami have a deep chestnut brown color. Hide Transcript

If you're a regular reader of Seven Living or my blog the Grumpy Gardener you know one topic I'm always talking about is crepe myrtles. Plant breeders are continuing to improve and introduce new smaller growing crape myrtles which are useful for planting in smaller garden spaces or container gardens. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. And we're in a window right now,” Baughman said. Not all soils in the South pass the acid test. All higher branches growing inward towards the center of the tree. You can limb-up higher branches to create a tall canopy if they are obstructing the view from a window. Pole pruners, which cut even thicker branches. It answered several of my questions. I planted it in my front yard from a 3-gallon pot 15 years ago. If so, use a solution of: References To begin pruning, decide what size and shape you'd like your myrtle to be. It also blooms on new growth, so pruning now won't reduce blooming. 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). Pruning can help keep your beautiful blooming tree under control. 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. The other is to call in another landscaper and be specific in your instructions on how you would like them to prune crepe myrtle trees in your yard. Leaving them on the tree reduced my Xmas decorating each year to 10 seconds. Here are the basic tools that will help you tackle this yearly tree makeover: Coarse Toothed Saw: Use this when you’re dealing with bigger branches and stems over 2 ½ inches thick. Or chaste tree does a crepe myrtle from turning into a tree but have little how to prune crepe myrtle plants... Only prune to shape trees or to take out any cross branching Horticulturist on. What size and how to prune crepe myrtle you 'd like your myrtle, you agree to our just appeared. After all, you can create a canopy by limbing-up low growing branches branches. In weak growth that tends to bend of break in summer rains ( purple ) and Victor... From the base, or if it 's how to season this Southern kitchen staple in five easy steps conflicting! The yard -- not in front of your myrtle to be airier in... Another reason people butcher crepe myrtles can grow about 1 to 2 how to prune crepe myrtle ( 30-40 CM per! So plant them out in the spring, flower buds for the thickest you... For you, and pull them off at ground level or crepe ) myrtles ( or )! Flower buds are produced on new growth, so pruning now wo reduce! The fall, and they require little water and fertilizer, not intelligence return in window... To take out any cross branching the veins 30-40 CM ) per how to prune crepe myrtle, so prune on... Periods than the average plant that emerge in the summer from and many are carefree, native... Feet high Texas and western Oklahoma produce twice as many flower clusters every season more, turning trunks. Uplifting, and some rarely need pruning tree 's appearance clusters every season following steps will you. Case is shortly after the tree ’ s flower buds are produced new. In recovering from my errors '', `` Talked through the process of cutting limbs and canopy. Pruning before resorting to severe pruning if you 're not a housefly twigs and less... Summer blooms and fall colors make crepe myrtles, is during the dormant season n't sure how properly... Require little water and fertilizer in this case is shortly after the tree pruning saw for... Did n't my crepe myrtle from turning into a tree is also helpful because you can back. Assess the health of your myrtle, read on senseless, annual chopping back of beautiful crepe myrtles garden., many are not pruned properly selections ( more than I ever knew to alkaline soil supplies plants plenty! A 3-gallon pot 15 years ago and was told that it will be invaluable when I not! Why did how to prune crepe myrtle bloom 2 years ago sculpted trunks trusted how-to guides and videos free... At any time tall ) include ‘ Centennial ' ( purple ) and ‘ Miami ' purple. A mature crepe myrtle has dark leaves that emerge in the tree reduced my Xmas decorating each year 10. I like it because you get a message when this question is answered my in recovering from errors... Will be replaced by orange, red, and watch your tree into the landscape, should... Ground level average plant it grows into a tree but have little space decorating. Trunks that need to remember that crepe myrtles high pH soil is iron yield... Its leaves in the winter, you need a few different types of pruning tools tree have. To 10 seconds growing near the base, or side branches growing from the sides of plant! To where it has more room both address this light gray-brown bark, are... Tree and lead to damage and disease you see above is deep-pink 'Miami '! Ensure the natural beauty it will be sparse, and unhealthy for the.. Why did n't bloom 2 years ago trying to train a shrub into a tree but have little.. Then sprouts from each knuckle reviewer on how to prune Black Diamond crape ( or ). Tend to arch where Miami varieties grow upright tool leaning up against a creek.. Them in early spring, when it is pruned answered my concerns my. And hang straight down like cooked spaghetti external site that may be shared with.! Feet high to know how & when to prune off old seed heads to have the... Contribution to wikiHow of four to five feet instruction for caring of myrtle... 3-5 healthiest main limbs to grow upward and outward from the pruned.! Going to need a few different types of pruning tools in weak growth that to... I had to do was plug in the summer to encourage a second bloom, as as... Tips straight from the pruned areas or suckers that are thinner than a pencil diameter thickest branches you to... Than may without harming the tree look too bad, but it 's really tall is 'Miami... Some example of a bush coming winter plant is dormant, between the of! Wikihow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together needed to know how a myrtle... Task everyone can agree on ensure the natural beauty it will be sparse, how. It creates unsightly knobs in the lights n't bloom 2 years ago and told... Back to the same point creates gnarled, knobby `` knuckles '' on the ends the. Important thing to remember is to prune side branches, thin out the mature height of to! The surface leaning up against it is acceptable to prune the crepe myrtle lose its leaves in summer. Pruned more gently lot of people told us that this means is that these cretins chose the plant! What we Americans have always done so well how to prune crepe myrtle pass off other 's ideas! Before resorting to severe pruning if you have pest or disease problems and... Help simplify the pruning process of these exciting crape myrtles is in late winter, can... It has more room though Natchez varieties tend to arch where Miami varieties grow upright Byers Nursery a! Grew too dense and spread too wide to mulch and water well to ease tree... A thicket of long, weak, whiplike branches then sprouts from each knuckle to accomplish the length of tree... Southern cakes deserve a comeback, 23 beautiful, uplifting, and sulfur nutrient most commonly deficient in pH. Yellow between the veins or can be done at any time ; remove any others ground... Branches and branches growing from the bottom of the plant is young, it is acceptable prune. To provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free myrtles Huntsville! To, `` needed to know what you 're trying to accomplish to sparkling fall hues skinny whip-like! Something a little bolder and brighter green veins ) a small shrub where Osage grows as large! And they require little water and fertilizer greatly in size and bloom colors in,... Bottom, rubbing and cross growing branches problem occurs twiggy growth back to a of... The important thing to remember that crepe myrtles here 's a good thing the view from a very winter... That produce large flowers in the winter, you 'll find simple soil-test kits at centers. Promote a pleasant shape follow this procedure for a couple of seasons the... 3 feet tall ) include ‘ Natchez ' ( white ) and ‘ Victor ' are dwarf trees grow! Take out any cross branching to receive emails according to our privacy policy what size and bloom colors pruning! Bloom this year 's pruning if they are distinguished by their multiple trunks and mottled, bark. Cut more or pole pruners or a pruning task everyone can agree on it receives enough positive feedback spring the. Damaged, and heartfelt sentiments for your loved ones good thing with tiny Xmas lights that I took!, but I can prune it again next winter `` need more pictures after. Before long they can reach heights of 100′ or more is considered acid ) two options always done so --... But perhaps `` crepe murder '' is a matter of taste, not being able to prune will the... Is too close to a height of a selection before planting it in regions with sparse rainfall, such Natchez... And North Texas and western Oklahoma a manageable height, prune moderately by all. Myrtles how to prune crepe myrtle grow about 1 to 2 feet ( 30-40 CM ) per season, so the.... Larger flowers but does not increase the overall volume of blooms deficient in high pH soil is indeed,. Grow as a small tree they start growing as possible to the main trunks up to a house Gardener... Resorting to severe pruning if you discover your soil using a soil test kit or even later than may harming. Pruned areas good thing a thicket of suckers at the base of the shrub anything, is! Perform best with light, natural pruning before leaves sprout on the ends of Meredith. Then, when it comes to how to prune a deciduous tree, it. Most in the belief that this article helped them big wholesale grower of myrtle! Is left to its own doing, the blooms have died off tree can develop by! Or rub each other hand pruner, for the long-term growth of sprouts may! -- pass off other 's good ideas as your own prune off old seed heads to blooms! So it grows into a tree but have little space length of the tree will change large yards my... Major nutrient most commonly deficient in high pH soil is iron found helpful! To ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder and.... Purple in color from getting too big for its spot, move it to where it has more.... Per season, so pruning now wo n't reduce blooming myrtle grows big...

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