Summer 2019 — crepe myrtle in full bloom
Crepe Myrtle - May 17, 2020
The weather is warming and our outdoor vegetation is growing green, even beyond the garden.
Nothing says spring like seeing green popping through the brown ground and dormant sprigs leftover from winter sprouting new leaves.
One of our favorite flowering shrubs (or is it a tree?) is crepe myrtle. When it starts to bloom in July, it continues to bloom until the weather shifts back to cold. While it may be a late bloomer, even without flowers it’s a beautiful, green metropolis of leaves.
Unlike other shrubs, you don’t want to prune back your crepe myrtle much, if any. Sometimes they sprout up from the bottom, and sometimes the new leaves come out from the middle. One source says to prune only the tangled branches to avoid them from rubbing against each other and causing damage to the limbs.
The natural grace of these shrubs turned trees is best when they’re allowed to grow without intervention; please don’t lop off the top.
The lifetime of a crepe myrtle can be over 50 years, and as long as they get enough sun (minimum of 6 hours per day) and water, you can expect a long-living, aesthetically-appealing canvass that’s easy to grow. Plus, it will brighten up your outdoor living space with lots of color.
You can propagate crepe myrtle by seed, by roots or by cuttings. Here’s how. We typically dig up the offshoots for planting elsewhere.
In our opinion, one of the best features of crepe myrtle is it’s non-toxic, so it offers the perfect landscape for a four-legged adventure.
“Where flowers bloom so does hope.” — Lady Bird Johnson, American Socialite & First Lady of the U.S. (1963-1969)
Do you have gardening questions? Ask our experts in the comments section below. They’d love to share their knowledge with you!