The Q&A Archives: Lack of Flowers

Question: I have two Crape Myrtles, side by side, about 8 years old. Grown from cuttings. I have given 3 others to different people and theirs have bloomed. Only once did I have blooms about 6 years ago, but they never opened. They are in full sun on southwestern side of house. Please help, this is my favorite flower. Thanks.

Answer: It's certainly a mystery why your trees won't bloom, especially if others from the same source are performing well. The full sun exposure sounds right, and if your trees produced flower buds, it indicates they are mature enough to perform. Crape Myrtles grow and bloom best in zones 7, 8 and 9, where the summers are long and hot. In your zone 6 garden Crape Myrtles are marginal performers which might account for their lack of bloom. However, if others are blooming in your vicinity, I'd then be suspicious about the moisture, nutrient content and pH of your soil. Provide your trees with plenty of moisture during the growing season by watering deeply, and mulch the soil over the rootmass to help hold in moisture and slow evaporation. Prune during the dormant season, cutting branches back 12"-18" to increase the flower production in the spring. Hope you have a long, hot summer this year so your trees will bloom next year!

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