The Q&A Archives: Care for Crape Myrtles

Question: I have several crape myrtles. Two have done extremely well (grew a great deal last summer and produced months of beautiful flowers), and the rest have done marginally well to poorly. What do these plants like? Any tips?

Answer: Crape myrtles like full sun and a well-drained, but evenly moist soil. Give them a good soaking one a week or so during your long Florida summers and fertilize with a balanced product in late winter and mid summer. Keep grass and weeds several feet away from the plant base to reduce competition and promote vigor. If aphids appear in summer along with the black sooty mold they cause, blast them off with a strong spray of water or treat with an organic pesticide such as neem or insecticidal soap. Prune moderately in late winter removing branches back to a "Y" intersection to maintain a natural shape and form to the plant. Resist the urge to overprune.

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