Deadhead crape myrtles
get another round of blooms.
Right on schedule, rainy season has
arrived. Cloudy afternoons are the perfect time to work out in the yard away
from the sun's heat. The regular, soaking rains are wonderful for newly planted trees and
shrubs, as well as established plants. If you have any crape myrtles in your landscape, check out the article below for tips
on keeping them looking great.
Kim, Joey and Mark
In This Issue
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Caring for Crape Myrtles
Now that your crape myrtles have been blooming for awhile, it's time to
think about how to care for them so that they'll keep blooming a little
longer and so that they are a beautifully shaped tree. Below are a few simple tips to keep your crapes in top shape.
1. Prune off old seed pods - This is a simple, but important step to keep crape myrtles looking pretty. As the flowers finish, snip off the spent blooms.
If you prune them off before they form seed pods, you will often encourage a second, lighter bloom. (At this time a little good fertilizer such as our Kerby's 8-4-8
can also help extend the bloom season.)
2. Avoid over pruning - Many people really chop back crape myrtles each year. This isn't necessary to get
great blooms and it keeps trees from
reaching their full potential. For the best shaped trees, prune branches back a few inches to a few feet depending on the size of the tree, and thin out interior
branches to encourage the stronger ones to grow. This pruning is best done while crape myrtles are dormant during the winter.
3. Don't forget to water - especially if your trees are still new. Crape myrtles are a drought and heat tolerant plant, but must receive regular water when new
in order to achieve their full potential. For the first three months, we recommend the following schedule: water daily in month
one, every other day in month two and twice a week
in month three. Make sure to water with a hose and that you give the plants enough water to really soak the root ball.
4. Creating a tree - if your crape myrtle has low branches and you'd like it to develop more of a tree shape, begin by pruning off some of the
lower foliage and branches. Go slowly, you never want to prune more than 25% of the tree off at any one time. As you remove lower branches, you'll encourage
the upper branches to grow more and start creating a nice patch of shade to relax under.
Follow these tips and your crape
myrtles will be the most beautiful on the block!