The Crape Myrtle has been renowned for its wonderful long-lasting bloom, its wide range of adaptation, and its versatility as both a tree and a shrub. With the introduction of exciting new varieties, the love affair with the Crape Myrtle is sure to continue.
All Crape Myrtles sold in the United States are deciduous. They are mostly admired for their long bloom period from late spring to fall. Most also feature an outstanding fall color display of oranges, reds and yellows. This fall color varies in degrees by variety.
They are tolerant of a wide range of soils but do require good drainage. Once established, they are quite drought tolerant, good news for water-wise landscapes.
Select the right size for your landscape first, then focus on finding your favorite color. Here is a selection guide by variety.
Introduced more than 200 years ago from Southeast Asia, no less than the likes of
Ouch! This picture shows a horrible "Crape Murder."
Please, don't use heading or topping cuts to pollard Crape Myrtles, it's just won't give you that natural look you want. You'll also avoid creating those knobby knuckles, which sadly wreck the appearance of that beautiful Crape Myrtle bark.
Instead, let's watch Ed Laivo, one of Nature Hills horticulturalists, as he gives valuable information on how to correctly prune this beautiful tree.
The goal is to get air circulation and sunlight into the canopy of the tree. You also want to allow your Crape Myrtle to showcase the beautiful bark as part of its character.
In the video, you'll learn when to prune Crape Myrtles, and get a step-by-step approach to determine your pruning plan. Hint, start from the ground up!
Ed also walks you through a pruning tool selection guide. He'll show you exactly what types of branches you want to prune.