The Q&A Archives: fertilizing crepe myrtles

Question: I have a red crepe myrtle (about 7' tall)that I bought late last summer. It has a couple blooms on it right now. I've never fertilized it because I don't know what to use. What should I feed it, how often and when?
Thank you.

Answer: Crape myrtle blooms on new wood of the season so after the blossoms fade, prune it back a bit to encourage new shoots which may flower for you later this summer.

A complete general-purpose garden fertilizer -- such as 8-8-8, 10-10-10, 12-4-8 or 16-4-8 -- is ideal for crape myrtle. To newly planted small plants (1-gallon size), apply 1 teaspoon of fertilizer monthly from March to August along the perimeter of the planting hole. Larger, established plants will benefit from one broadcast application of fertilizer in spring. Apply 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 at a rate of 1 lb. per 100 sq. ft. or 12-4-8 or 16-4-8 at a rate of ? lb. per 100 sq. ft. Avoid over-fertilization because it causes excess growth and reduced flowering. The best time to fertilize is just before a rain. Otherwise, water in the fertilizer after application with irrigation.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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