Crepe Myrtles are one of the easiest care summer flowering bushes or trees available, which may explain why so many cities use them in public places. Crepe Myrtles can often sustain extreme pruning and come back strong with beautiful blooms. They also come in a variety of colors.
One of my favorite bushes is the Crepe Myrtle, mostly because it is so resilient. They can be trimmed to look more like trees by annually removing their lower branches. The can be reduced in height by trimming the tops too. We have one Crepe Myrtle close to our house that we like to keep cut lower than the roof line. Plus, we trim the bottom branches to give a cleaner look to our front flower bed. That Crepe Myrtle was planted by the house builders 20 years ago, and it is still going strong. Since it is in the flower bed, it makes beautiful background greenery during the holiday months of decorating.
The Crepe Myrtle in the photo on the right is our bush in our own backyard. Because this bush came as a surprise in another bush, we have left the bark covered by the original bush. I love the way the crepe myrtle bush provides a fountain of blooms over the top.
Care of Crepe Myrtles
Large Twilight Crape Myrtle, 3-4ft Tall When Shipped, Matures 22ft, 1 Tree, Rich Sunset Purple/Pink (Shipped Well Rooted in Pots with Soil)In large part, Crepe Myrtles are so easy to care for because they need very little water and can tolerate full sun year round. Truly a very hardy bush or tree!
You should prune Crepe Myrtles in early spring or winter. However, you can trim twiggy growth when needed without harming it. As a matter of fact, like many flowers, if you cut back the spent blooms, a crepe myrtle will bloom again.
Pruning a Crepe Myrtle to look more like a tree will display its beautiful trunk. Remove all the side branches up to 5 feet approximately, depending on area and effect you wish and the height of the variety you buy. Many of the city parkways plant the taller variety trees and trim them higher to provide beauty on city streets. Home owners generally trim the trunks to a height that is easy to maintain, allowing them to “bush” out above the groomed trunk. If they border a walkway, clearly they would need to be trimmed higher up the trunk to allow people to walk under their flowering umbrella branches.
When you first plant your crepe myrtle, you will need to give it a good, soaking water once a week to establish their root base.
Choose the Right Crepe Myrtle for Your Yard
Like most trees and bushes, the size and flower of your crepe myrtle will depend on the type you select. Dwarf Crepe Myrtle shrubs are only 2′ – 4′, while upright varieties can grow as high as 20′ trees.
I recommend buying a crepe myrtle from your local nursery, although there are options available online. If you need to buy online, be sure you buy them in containers or root ball form. Plant them exactly as the nursery instructs to insure years of beauty and strength. Be sure to water them weekly for the first few months.