Crape myrtles are great decorative shrubs recognized for his or her stunning crepe-like flowers. Nevertheless, pruning crape myrtles incorrectly can destroy this fabulous show. On this article, I’ll share my expertise and a few important tips on when and the way to prune and trim crape myrtle shrubs.
Do Crape Myrtles Want Pruning?
Drastic pruning might be disastrous for crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.). This overzealous method to pruning is usually described as “crape homicide” and includes chopping the shrub right down to a stump. As a substitute, crape myrtles needs to be calmly pruned to barely cut back their dimension, enhance air circulation, and create a desired form.
Crape myrtles range in dimension, impacting how typically you wish to prune them. Dwarf varieties received’t want a lot pruning as a result of they solely develop between 2 and 6 ft tall. Nevertheless, some varieties of crape myrtle develop as shrubs or small timber that attain roughly 30 ft tall and 15 ft extensive.
Moderately than pruning too typically, assess your backyard first and decide what sort of crape myrtle you may accommodate. Select a crape myrtle that stays at a manageable dimension in your house. This lets you cut back the pruning you’ll must do.
When to Prune and Trim Crape Myrtles
Prune crape myrtles in late winter or early spring whereas the shrubs are dormant. February is the perfect month for pruning in USDA Zones 6 to 9. Crape myrtles produce flowers on new development, so pruning them in the course of the spring and summer time removes the creating flowers. Lifeless, broken, or diseased branches might be eliminated at any time of the yr.
Key Concerns When Pruning & Trimming Crape Myrtles
At all times use clear, sterile instruments to prune your crape myrtle. Pruning creates potential openings for illnesses and pests to invade. Sterilize your chopping instruments with a 5% bleach answer to stop the unfold of illnesses between crops.
Ensure that your instruments are sharp earlier than you begin pruning. Sharp instruments make clear cuts, decreasing the danger of pests and illnesses. Blunt instruments trigger additional harm, leaving your crape myrtle susceptible.
Deadheading Crape Myrtles
Crape myrtles flower throughout summer time and fall, producing massive panicles of colourful crepe-like flowers. Because the blooms fade, deadhead them to maintain your crape myrtle trying enticing. Relying on the local weather, deadheading crape myrtles may also stimulate a second flush of flowers later within the season.
The right way to Prune and Trim Crape Myrtles
Earlier than you begin pruning, look at your crape myrtle carefully. Determine what sort of form you need and the way a lot you’ll want to chop off.
Begin by eradicating any broken or lifeless branches. Then, take away any decrease branches which can be thinner than a pencil. This allows you to get a clearer concept of the way you wish to trim your crape myrtle.
Crape myrtles produce a number of trunks. You can also make elementary structural adjustments to your crape myrtle by eradicating a few of these trunks. Intention to limit your crape myrtle to a few or 5 major trunks wherever potential. When eradicating a trunk, lower it again as near the bottom as potential.
Hold your crape myrtle wholesome by scaling down the middle of the plant. Take away any branches that cross over or rub in opposition to one other department. This promotes good air circulation and permits daylight to achieve the shrub’s inside.
Minimize crape myrtle branches again to a bud that faces outwards. By no means lower branches flush in opposition to a central trunk. As a substitute, lower the branches again to the swollen space the place they be part of the trunk, often called the department collar. Solely take away a 3rd of the cover in a single go when trimming your crape myrtle.
Pruning Crape Myrtles FAQs:
What Month Ought to Crape Myrtles Be Minimize Again?
Crape myrtles needs to be in the reduction of in late winter or early spring earlier than new development begins. February is often one of the best month for pruning crape myrtles.
How Far Again Can I Minimize My Crape Myrtles?
By no means in the reduction of the cover of a crape myrtle by greater than a 3rd. Pruning your crape myrtle too drastically can severely harm the tree.
How Do You Trim and Form a Crape Myrtle?
Trim and form your crape myrtle by eradicating any inside branches that cross over or rub in opposition to one other department. Intention for 3 to five major trunks and in the reduction of the cover by not more than a 3rd.
Crape myrtles reply finest to mild pruning fairly than drastic chopping again. Prune crape myrtles throughout late winter or early spring to keep away from damaging creating flower buds. Focus on eradicating inside branches that rub in opposition to different branches.
For extra, see our in-depth information to rising and caring for crape myrtles in your backyard.