myrtles are the premier summer flowering tree of the south.
Their showy summer flowers, attractive bark and brilliant
fall color make them year-round garden performers.
crepe myrtles bloom on new wood. This means that the flowers
form on stems produced during this season. The best time
to prune crepe myrtles is late winter or early spring. This
will increase next summer's flowers. If we want to create
a small shrubby habit, or if that is the natural shape of
the variety we have chosen, let's prune off the spent flower
clusters and thin out small twiggy growth. To maintain compactness
and eliminate a leggy look, cut branches nearly to the ground
this time of year.
our larger tree forms remove suckers at the base of the
plant and gradually remove side branches to about 4-5 feet.
This will expose the trunk's handsome bark. If you do want
to remove a larger branch, we want to take it all the way
back to the next largest limb. Never cut into a larger branch!
We call this CREPE MURDER. It causes fingering or numerous
small branches immediately above the cut and destroys the
striking vertical form of the tree. If someone has already
committed crepe murder and you have numerous branches coming
out at one point. Select one of the straightest branches
that lines up with the lower part of the branch (show) and
prune off all the other smaller branches at that point.
This will encourage the remaining branch to grow quickly
and within a year or two it will fill out and the knot will
the South, powdery mildew is a terrible problem on crepe
myrtles. Look for mildew resistant varieties. Some of the
best are those introduced by the National Arboretum in Washington
DC. Many of these bear the names of Indian tribes such as
Acoma, Biloxi, Comanche, Hopi Muskogee, Natchez, Sioux,
Tuskegee, Yuma and Zuni
Parker Andes/Callaway Gardens
- Spring Plants
Check out Callaway
Gardens website for more information.
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