crape myrtles care

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Crape Myrtles are beautiful blooming flower plants which many people like to have in their garden. But getting a good bloom without Crape Myrtles Fertilizers is not easy as it requires some care and planning. 

For every 100 sq ft ground coverage of crepe myrtle, you should use 1/2 pounds of fertilizer.

If you are looking for Crape Myrtles Fertilizer, then use a fertilizer that contains high nitrogen. Fertilizers such as 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 will work best for the Crape Myrtle Fertilizer.

If you have already used some other fertilizer for your Crape Myrtle tree, then use 12-4-8 or 16-4-8 solution. It will prevent over-fertilization which is essential to get blooming flowers.

You will be mostly fine by using the above fertilizers on your Crape myrtle tree. But be aware that depending on your soil condition you may have to use more or less of these fertilizers.

Crape  Myrtles bloom a large number of flowers that need it to use lots of nutrients. You have to feed it often to get lovely flower blooms during its early years. 

When applying fertilizer to Crape Myrtles, apply it around the base of the plant and water it after fertilization. 

Best Time to Fertilize Crape Myrtles (Crepe Myrtles)

Many people write Crape Myrtles as Crepe Myrtles, but both mean the same thing. The best time to fertilize Crepe Myrtles would be in spring when the tree starts to get new plant buds and is ready to bloom.

If you have bought a crape myrtle plant from a garden shop such as Home Depot or Lowes, and the plant is still small, amend your soil before planting it.

Putting organic compost in the ground will naturally provide the Crape Myrtles with the essential nutrients to get started. For clay soils, add some peat moss before planting to improve drainage.

The newly planted Crape Myrtles need some extra nitrogen in the beginning for its root to grow and strengthen. You can use high nitrogen concentration fertilizer such as 16-4-8 or 12-4-8 to give Crape Myrtles the required initial growth boost.

Depending on when you plant your Crape Myrtles, fertilize it three times once every month. For example, in March, May, and then in August to promote growth and blooming. 

The Crape Myrtles need a lot of moisture when it is young but as it grows it will require less water and fertilization.

purple crape myrtle

Ongoing Fertilization of Crape Myrtles

Once the crape tree has been established, you can start maintenance mode fertilization. In the maintenance mode of Crepe Myrtle’s fertilization, you use the 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 fertilization formula.

Reduce the fertilization of Crape Myrtles to once a year during the springtime. If you want the Crape Myrtles to bloom to the last longer, then don’t over-fertilize it after the first year. The over-feeding causes the plant to grow more foliage than the flower.

As a general rule, annually, you should start fertilization of Crape Myrtles in early spring when the leave buds appear. You should water Crape Myrtles after fertilization so the soil can easily absorb the nutrients and spread them over the root. 

When to Stop Fertilizing Crape Myrtles

After summertime when the blooming stops and the fall comes, you should get your Crape Myrtles tree ready for the winter. In the fall, stop fertilizing and reduce the watering of the plant.

To survive winter, Crape Myrtles gets dormant and “harden off” to withstand colder and drier winter conditions. Adding much fertilizer or water in the latent period of Crape Myrtles will not do any good to the plant.

white crape myrtle

Crepe Myrtle Care and Pruning

Many people get unhappy that their Crape Myrtles did not bloom properly. To make Crape Myrtles bloom to its fullest, you have to prune it when it is dormant. 

For a single trunk tree, cut the side branches to allow the single trunk to get active and be able to use all the nutrients during the growing season. For Multi-trunk trees, prune the branches, so it does not become overcrowded or branches touch each other.

Be careful while pruning and don’t overdo it. Many people over prune crape myrtles and also cut the top of which is also known as “crape murder.”

This results in a tree using all the resources back into growing new branches and leaves rather than blooming flowers. 

When to Transplant Crepe Myrtles

If you are looking to transplant Crepe myrtles either as a new plant or the existing plant, then there are several ways you can do it. The roots of Crepe Myrtles should be dug in early spring and planted where desired.

Typically, this kind of plantation results in weak growth of Crepe Myrtles due to root inconsistency. The Crepe Myrtles planting zone is 2 to 5 if planted in a planter and brought inside in winter.

To grow Crepe Myrtles from seed, wait for the flower to ripen in fall and convert into a seed capsule. Once ready, you can peel the seed capsule and collect the seeds which you can dry and store in a sealed container.

You do not need any pre-treatment of seeds and germination starts three weeks after sowing. For the best chance of Crepe Myrtles seeds to grow into a plant, sow it in early spring.

Maintain the well-drained soil and soil slightly acidic to neutral. You should insert Crepe Myrtles seed around a one-quarter inch inside the ground.

For planting in a container or rootball, put it in well-drained soil and provide good sunlight. After the germination, when you are ready to transplant in a flowerbed or garden, dig a hole twice as wide as the planter or container size.

Keep the plant at the same depth or slightly higher as it was in the container. Spread and fill the hole around the plant with soil and create a mound around 2-inch-high to act as a catch basin.

Water the plant to fill the pool while allowing water to settle down in a newly dug hole and soil. Once ready, spread around a 2-inch layer of mulch around the plant to maintain soil moisture and prevent weeds. You can then fertilize it with 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 level fertilizer.

crape myrtles plant

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