Crape Myrtle

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  #1  
Old 05-29-2011, 05:02 PM
nanci2539 nanci2539 is offline
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Default Crape Myrtle

I have a beautiful crape myrtle tree that didn't bloom this year. It was pruned in March by landscapers who trimmed our shrubs and did spring clean up. I'm wondering if they didn't prune it correctly. Any ideas
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:16 PM
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Default Crape Myrtle

It's impossible for a landscaper to ruin a Crape Myrtle. In Memphis we usually do the prune in Feb. In Florida March may be a little late however.

I would just Google it. You'll find lot's of info I'm sure.
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:29 PM
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I have a beautiful crape myrtle tree that didn't bloom this year. It was pruned in March by landscapers who trimmed our shrubs and did spring clean up. I'm wondering if they didn't prune it correctly. Any ideas
Did it bloom by this time in prior years? I notice a neighbors that has bloomed profusely in prior years is just starting to bloom.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:40 AM
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Some crepe myrtles bloom later. Mine never bloomed until July last year, but it is blooming profusely now. Give it a shot of fertilizer
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:44 AM
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To answer DownEaster, yes, it bloomed the first two years it was planted. I noticed the tips of branches have dead buds on them. I love that tree and not one bloom!!!!
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:11 AM
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To answer DownEaster, yes, it bloomed the first two years it was planted. I noticed the tips of branches have dead buds on them. I love that tree and not one bloom!!!!
That may be the problem. These trees bloom on new wood. The best way to prune/trim them is to cut the branches back by about a third of their length in the winter when the tree is dormant. The branches should not be cut all the way back to a main trunk. This is called crape murder, and produces a tree with weak structure. Cutting the branches by a third will produce a nicely shaped tree that blooms regularly.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:16 AM
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Mike, thanks, would it helped if I pruned the dead buds off now or is it too late
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:07 PM
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Give it some time and it may still bloom. One of ours bloomed earlier this month and the other one is just starting to put out blooms. Both were trimmed at the same time.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:10 PM
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Mike, thanks, would it helped if I pruned the dead buds off now or is it too late
I think it's too late. Try to prune it after the leaves fall off in the winter.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:01 AM
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One more question - do these trees need a lot of water - meaning watering every day. I haven't read this anywhere but my husband thinks its from lack of water. When it was first planted two years ago, I recall the landscaper saying it needed regular watering but I suspect it was because it was newly planted but once established, the irrigation water would suffice. I know they like sun; what about water? Thanks
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:00 AM
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One more question - do these trees need a lot of water - meaning watering every day. I haven't read this anywhere but my husband thinks its from lack of water. When it was first planted two years ago, I recall the landscaper saying it needed regular watering but I suspect it was because it was newly planted but once established, the irrigation water would suffice. I know they like sun; what about water? Thanks
Try sticking a wooden dowel rod down into the soil in a few spots around your crepe myrtle and see how wet or dry the ground is below.... that will give you some idea of where you need to go in watering your tree.
I don't think there are many trees that can take daily watering... and 'watering' is a relative term anyway. I lived in a townhouse association that watered so much, they literally drowned over 60 large evergreen trees in short order.
There is a cool garden blog from Southern Living..... titled "The Grumpy Gardener" ( you can Google it)
It's done with humor and expert advice and has a whole section on crepe myrtles that might help!
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:55 PM
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From Floridata.com


Crape myrtle likes moist soil, where it will grow exceedingly fast, but it tolerates dry conditions once established. It has been standard practice to cut trees back to large branches or even the trunk in winter. This distorts the appearance of the tree tremendously. Such massacre results in thin, arching stems and completely destroys the architectural beauty of the free growing crape myrtle. Pruning is recommended only to remove overly dense branches and crossing limbs. Cutting off old flower heads in summer can promote a second and third round of flowering, though. Over fertilizing creates abundant foliage at the expense of blooms. Crape myrtles are a magnet for aphids, upon whose excrement sooty mold grows. This can give the leaves a gray, sooty coating that is not harmful, but is unsightly. Control aphids with a soapy water solution. (Crapes are actually used around commercial nurseries to attract aphids away from other plants!)
Light: Good sun.
Moisture: Moist, well drained soil.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 7-9. In general, trees are extremely vigorous and hardy. Newer varieties are extending the range - check with your local garden center for crapes that survive in colder zones.
Propagation: By cuttings from medium wood in early fall or hard wood in winter. Also by seed. Easy to root.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:59 PM
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I appreciate this "myrtle" discussion. Mine didn't bloom this year either. Dead blooms/open buds at ends. Otherwise looks very healthy. 3 years old. I didn't prune mine at all in the winter of 2010. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:44 AM
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I appreciate this "myrtle" discussion. Mine didn't bloom this year either. Dead blooms/open buds at ends. Otherwise looks very healthy. 3 years old. I didn't prune mine at all in the winter of 2010. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Despite what Floridata says, I always pruned about 1/3 of each branch every winter when the tree is dormant. I always got blooms. Blooms appear on new wood only, so cutting back the branches promotes new growth and blooms.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:34 AM
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No it does not need daily water. Regular irrigation is fine
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