Crape Myrtle blossums

Growing Crape Myrtles, ideas and tips, is meant to offer advice to the home owners and landscaping and gardening fans, that wishes to enhance the value of their dwelling. A favorite tree in the South, the Crape Myrtle (Lagerostroemia indica) is widely utilized in the landscapes, because of the long flowering period. It flowers from mid-summer until late autumn, and occasionally until frost.


In the fall before the Crape Myrtle is falling the leaves, the color is turning red, and the exfoliating of the bark is just beautiful, and very appealing.

Along with being so well known in the South, in the past couple of decades, with the introduction and development of new cultivars, the requirement for the Crape Myrtle is growing towards the Northern nations, and it’s used increasingly more in landscape jobs by the professionals, Cities, Municipalities across the Country, in addition to from the home owners.

The Crape Myrtles are planted along driveways, alleys, walkways, along fences, in group planting, accent focal points, and anyway one can consider. They’re easy to grow, easy to spread, and once established it doesn’t need too much care.

They’re grown in very many different colour blossoms, but the primary ones are the red, pink, white, lavender, purple, a few of the varieties in lighter or darker color tones.


The Crape Myrtle can be grown as a single trunk, or multi-trunk. To grow it as a single trunk, in shrub form, you need to prune all of the branches and leave only one as the primary trunk. Usually you need to keep the one which is straight and stronger. If you want the multi-trunk, then leave all of the branches to grow, and then trapping only those that aren’t well developed. Just continue the strongest ones.

If it happens that you have a single trunk Crape Myrtle, and you wish to modify the shape to a multi-trunk tree, you can do that, very easily. Just have a little patience, and wait till next January or February, while the trees are still dormant, and cut on the back all the way down, and leave about two to three inches above the ground level. The tree will begin growing a number of trunks from where you cut it.

The pruning should be performed while dormant, usually in January or February, until they begin to put out buds. So, that’s a fantastic time to shape them in any manner you prefer, and to prune off any unwanted suckers.

Once the Crape Myrtles are well established, don’t be afraid to prune them drastically. If you want them to develop more vigorous, first you should cut them back to the desired height. And then in the next year’s prunning, once they branched out from the prior year’s cut, prune from where they had been branching out. Just cut all the limbs which operate from the main trunk, to about two to three inches from the primary trunk(s), and the small branches that aren’t well developed, the suckers, you wish to cut off.

Pruning is essential, if you wish large vibrant, deeper color tone blossoms! If left to grow without some drastic pruning, you may have a great deal of flowers, but they’ll be small.

The Crape Myrtle can grow about 20 to 25 feet tall, and they grow fairly quickly.

Sun Plant

They prefer full sun and a well air circulated area to stop them from getting powdery mildew. If it happens to find some powdery mildew, because of lack of air flow, it isn’t a big issue. It comes and goes. Usually the rain will wash it off, and the end will play a great roll, also, to make it disappear faster.

Too much shade will impair the flowering, and the flowers won’t grow as they should. So full sun is vital, and the screen is more spectacular from the landscape, with much bigger blossoms.

Keep them moist but not soggy. Once established they can pretty much tolerate some drought. If the soil is fuller, you can lower the pH to approximately 5.5 to 6.00, by mulching around the trees with pine-straw, to make it a bit more acidic.

If the soil is quite poor in nutrients, fertilize lightly with a well balanced fertilizer. I prefer the slow released fertilizer, such as Osmocote or Nursery Special. Apply as a top dress, around the back of the trees. It always worked better for me. The flowers are more vibrant and vivid in colour tones.


When planting the Crape Myrtles, like any other tree or shrubs, dig the hole at least one and a half of the size of the root ball, and only slightly less deeper than it was in the original container whenever you’ve bought it. It’s much better to be a bit over the line of the soil, to enable the water to drain away from the bottom of the tree.

Many ailments and other rot and fungus problems happen when the crops are planted deeper then they ought to.

Fill the hole with the dirt which you dug out, and then press around to remove any air pockets from around the roots. Water well and profound. Just a sprinkle on the surface of the soil won’t ever be enough! Mulch with about two to three inches of pine-straws to keep moisture, and keep it moist until the tree is becoming established. More that the Crape Myrtle does not need too much care.


The Crape Myrtle is rather easy to propagate.

By seeds

which you may select from the pods in fall, until the seed falls on the floor. Use some nice peat-moss based potting soil, with a few micro-nutrients mix, and fill some 2 to 4 inch pots with the soil, and sow one seed in a pot. Keep evenly moist until it germinates. For a quicker germination soak the seeds in water at room temperature for many hours. Keep them inside in a place where there’s some fantastic light, preferable near a window. For those who have a small greenhouse, that’s even better. Once they germinate, you can grow them in exactly the same pot until spring, once it is possible to plant them out, after the danger of late frost is past.

By rooted cuttings

Cut some fresh young branches (semi-hardwood is preferable), and after you cut on the lower end slanted using a sharp knife, then pinch off the leaves from the section of the stem which you stick in the potting soil. Pinch off the tips, and leave just 4 or 5 leaves. For best results, the cuttings (the stalks ), should be no longer than 5 to 6 inches long. A root hormone could accelerate to rooting procedure, but for the Crape Myrtles it may be achieved without it.

Once you stick them in the ground, press round the cutting to remove any air pockets.

Since the new cuttings don’t have any roots yet, they feed throughout the leaves. So sprinkle the leaves many times daily, with a fine mist, or maybe a spray bottle ought to do. Make sure the soil is wet also, so the little cuttings are made to reach down to moisture, thus growing the roots.

Some cultivars are more resistant than others on powdery mildew. But that’s coming and going. Just keep your eye on the aphids, that render a sort of a tacky excretions on the leaves which brings the sooty mold fungus. If left un regulated it can get so thick as to not enable the plant to have its own photothynseses, and that could cause some problems, to the point that the Crape Myrtle will deteriorate.


The Aphids can be controlled by spraying with a lemon based dish washing soap solution mixed in water, and applied heavily on the affected leaves. Then after some time just wash the soap solution off with a hose. An area populated with lady bugs and lace wings (these green valuable bugs) can help a lot! They feed heavily on the aphids.

As you can see, the Crape Myrtle is easy to grow and it doesn’t need too much care. It will give you many years of pleasure and satisfaction, blooming year after year in addition to improving and elevating the value along with the picture of your dwelling.

In my many years of expertise in the Nursery and Landscaping area, I had many jobs that worked out well by planting Crape Myrtles.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get our hands dirty, it’s best for you!