8191d2ab67a6a68582f72f966688570a

Crape myrtles are one of the most beautiful flowering trees in the south.

They have a wonderful vase shape, attractive pealing bark and bloom all summer long. It is no wonder that they are popular, in fact people sometimes complain that they are over planted.

crepe1.jpg

With all this popularity, it is surprising that such bad pruning habits have developed with the tree! In essence the tree tops are lopped off in a way that is similar to the way we trim ornamental grasses. This is hideous to look and has never been supported by academia but each February and March, landscape crew run amok and ‘prune’ every tree in sight. The multitude of new growth that sprouts up after this beheading is weak and equally unattractive. Additionally the method creates large, ugly ‘knees’ at the point of reduction.

The problem seems to stem from the fact that the tree produces a lot of small side branches each year, and the blooms form on that new growth. The twiggy growth and remnant blossoms leave the trees looking a little ragged each spring so some tidying up is needed. Trimming the dead flower heads off and the very thin twigs is acceptable, but you should not take branches that are thicker than a thumb. If left to grow in a natural form they will be graceful and trouble free for years to come.  

crepe2.jpg

Myrtles Plant your crape myrtle in full sun to part shade for the best bloom, and keep the soil slightly moist that first year so that the tree can get established. Staking is not required. Some varieties will produce sucker growth around the base of the main trunk, and these should be removed, along with any low growing growth. The attractive bark is smooth to look at, and is best when lower branches are kept to a minimum. Look for varieties with a rich cinnamon color, such as Nanches , and you will have summer color, plus winter interest.  

 

 

 

 

 

crape3.jpg

In humid summers crapes can have a problem with mold and fungal issues, but unless the tree is small, there is nothing really you can do. Smaller trees can be treated with an appropriate spray, but in general, the infestation will not do long term harm. Crapes can be planted in groups, or as a focal point, and they can also be used to line a driveway.  

kateavatar3.jpgKate is a gardener, a garden writer and a garden educator living in Atlanta, Georgia. She has written for national magazines and local newspapers, plus hosts a weekly radio show. You can visit here website at www.katecopsey.com, her blog at www.katesgardenjournal.com , or drop her a message at her profile page www.theMulch.com/my-profile/userprofile/katycopsey.

 

 

 


Plant Care Reminders

Bird of Paradise Monthly Plant Care
Perennials Steve Brigham

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Echeverias roots

Echeveria: How to Slice and Re-root Large Echeverias

Widely known as the “Queen of Succulents,” Debra Lee Baldwin is the award-winning garden author who launched global interest in succulents with her book, Designing with Succulents. Her other bestsellers are Succulent Container Gardens and Succulents…

Avocado - Growing and Plant Care…

700 Super User
Avocado Information Hub
We're bringing relevant information about Avocados (Persea americana) to one fantastic…

Poinsettia Pointers

72962 Ron Vanderhoff
Poinsettia tips
Last year, about 41 million poinsettias were sold in the United States.

Drimia maritima (syn. Urginea maritima)…

2159 Walter Andersen Nursery
Giant White Sea Squill - Urginea maritima  - photo courtesy Carlyn Schaffner
Drimia maritima (syn. Urginea maritima) - Giant White Sea Squill What: A Mediterranean…

Gardening Articles

Better Gardening Practices
Landscape and Design Ron Vanderhoff

Some Gardening Traditions just aren’t “in” Anymore

In case I forget for a mere nanosecond, my two daughters will quickly remind me that my plaid shorts are a bad choice.
Default Image
Seasonal Gardening Ron Vanderhoff

Pruning Peaches, Plums and Apricots

Read Part Two Of This Article Here.

Added 36 new Ilex, Physocarpus, Rosa hybrid to the Plant Database

5691
Plant Care Reminders from Proven Winners
Our website has so much information being added and updated that I decided to post an…

If Your Orange is a Lemon, Listen to the Experts

4610
Citrus Tasting
Lance Walheim might be just about the smartest guy around when it comes to growing citrus…

Expert Tips for Creating a Show Stopping Fall Landscape - APLD

6511
DiPrisco Meadow Garden
The kids are back at school, football games have kicked off and in some parts of the…

Plant Recommendations

Clematis viticella
Plant Recommendations Ron Vanderhoff

Clematis for Southern California

Favorite Clematis for Southern California.
Choose the right marathon sod
Plant Recommendations whittier fertilizer

Choose the Right Marathon Sod for Your Garden

The main reason for the proper selection of Marathon Sod products is that each variety, Marathon I, II and III produce different rates of growth.

Wax Begonias With Bigger Flowers for…

31902 Chris Eirschele
Begonia volumia
Chris Eirschele Top Plant Recommendations: Wax Begonias for Shade and Container Gardens.

Shrubs - Southern California

11891 Tom Piergrossi
Worley's Butter Cream
Tom Piergrossi's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Shrubs for Southern California.

Shrubs and Small Trees - Southern…

13829 evelyn alemanni
Buddleia davidii
Evelyn Alemanni's Top Plant Recommendation: Shrubs and Small Trees for Southern…

Featured Plant Care

Beet Monthly Plant Care

Beet, Edible (Beta vulgaris) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Edibles
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Corn Monthly Plant Care

Corn - Sweet Edible (Zea mays var. rugosa) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Edibles
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Default Image

Grevillea - Mountain (Grevillea alpina) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Shrubs
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Rose Plant Care

Organic Rose Care

in Roses
Roses prefer a full day of sun. Give roses at least 6 hours of sun a day when possible.

Latest Articles

Peach Leaf Curl

Peach Leaf Curl - Information Hub

Peach leaf curl is a common problem found on leaves of Peaches and Nectarines (and their…
Avocado Information Hub

Avocado - Growing and Plant Care Information Hub

in Edibles
We're bringing relevant information about Avocados (Persea americana) to one fantastic…

Popular Articles

Using the Mulch for Home Gardeners

Home Gardener: Using All The Great Features on the Mulch

You Can Use The Great Features on the Mulch For Free!
Baseball Field Maintenance

Baseball Field Maintenance - A General Guide for Fields of All Levels

in Lawn
More great baseball field resources can be found here (including a pdf version of this…
Queen Palm Care & Use

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) Care & Use

in Trees
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977
Microgreens

What are Microgreens and How to Grow Them

in Edibles
Microgreens are tiny leafed vegetables that are grown from seed and require very little…

User Guides (Slide)

Popular Recommendations (Slide)

Upcoming Events

Sorry, we currently have no events.
View All Events

Who's Online

We have 1510 guests and one member online

  • leezook