Ask a Question forum: Growing Crape Myrtles From Cuttings

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Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
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kidfishing
Aug 19, 2015 8:59 AM CST
How easy are crape myrtles to start from cuttings?
I'm guessing the best time to do it is in the spring when they are leafing out.
What's the best method to get the best results?

Kidfishing
Kidfishing
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 19, 2015 1:59 PM CST

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They are quite easy but you have to time it right. When they are blooming you will probably never be successful. As you guessed, I do all my cuttings in the spring. Those nice big shoots with thick green stems are easy as pie to root. Use rooting hormone and keep the soil moist. It helps to keep them in a cold frame to keep humidity up but it has to be in the shade or else they'll bake.

I've also done it with hardwood cuttings over winter but it was less successful and frankly less fun.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Aug 19, 2015 4:06 PM CST
A blogging friend once referred to crape myrtles as "plastic plants"...
Nothing gets any use out of them... no butterfly visits them, birds have no use for them... no caterpillars... you get the idea...

Probably the easiest way to get more of them... is to till the soil around your existing stands.
By turning the soil.... you cut through roots... and in my experience... every single one of those broken pieces sends up new trees!

Or... you could try to dig them out... you will soon see a ton of new trees in the spot that you just took the crape myrtle from!
And... like mickey's mop... every time you attempt to dig out those babies... you will get more!
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 19, 2015 4:13 PM CST

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stone said:A blogging friend once referred to crape myrtles as "plastic plants"...


(rifling through my stuff looking for the barrel of tar and box of feathers...)
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Aug 19, 2015 4:33 PM CST
As a northerner who has never even seen seen a crepe myrtle flowering... I have to ask, is that true that butterflies don't visit them? They look like they would be butterfly magnets Confused
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Aug 19, 2015 4:37 PM CST
I like them because they are pretty and they bloom later in the summer early fall when nothing else is blooming. They also tolerate poor soil and take little water. i don't know about the butterfly thing, but I do know I had a birds nest in one once. So there is use in them. The bark adds winter interest also. And you can prune and shape them how you like and they come in huge sizes to miniatures. So, useful Thumbs up
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
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plantcollector
Aug 19, 2015 4:39 PM CST
I went all Summer without seeing any bee's until my crepe myrtle bloomed. Now I have seen several honey bee's and bumblebees on my crepe myrtle.
Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
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kidfishing
Aug 19, 2015 4:58 PM CST
I haven't really noticed any butterflies, but I would think something likes the flowers...
When your underneath a crape myrtle all you can hear is the sound of buzzing at our place.
They come up everywhere, but I want some that are true to name of the one I got a cutting off of.

Dave,
I know some plants you have to have "cuttings off wood" and not off new shoots, I guess that's not with crape myrtles.
Do they bloom the same year with cuttings?

Thank You!
Kidfishing
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 19, 2015 5:37 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

My crepe myrtles are constantly visited by my honeybees. 'Fantasy' in particular is an absolute bee magnet when it's in bloom.
Hurst, TX (Zone 8a)
luis_pr
Aug 19, 2015 5:52 PM CST
I find that left to their own devices, Crape Myrtles are like weeds, growing from seed or bird droppings. Or maybe their seeds travel a lot because I always have small new plants coming out of nowhere. But then, the Crape Myrtles in this house were originally planted a long time ago so the main shrubs are huge, 2 stories tall, which produce lots and lots of seeds.

Some of the new plants are the same color of my bushes but others are not so... they may have originated from bird droppings maybe? of neighbor's CMs.
Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
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Suga
Sep 10, 2015 11:04 PM CST
Maybe different varieties seed better than others. I know that one CM that is in my yard has little ones coming up around it all the time. Of course the one I want to reseed, my Peppermint CM, doesn't and I have two of them. They are planted within 15 ft of each other so they all get the same amount of care. Sigh. I may try them now and in the spring.
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Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
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froggardener
Sep 11, 2015 7:43 AM CST
Honeybees loves ours also. When you walk near sometimes it feels like you vibrating or humming, Rolling on the floor laughing
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Helen Mirren
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Sep 11, 2015 1:31 PM CST
the peppermint is really pretty.
Lovey dubby
Hurst, TX (Zone 8a)
luis_pr
Sep 13, 2015 1:00 PM CST
That reminds me... a few weeks ago, I passed a Dynamite CM at a nursery; it looked like a Peppermint from afar. As the bloom matures, it had turned less intense red and more pink... and oddly, the edges of the old blooms had also turned white. It looked odd having both new full red blooms and those mature blooms at the same time.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Sep 13, 2015 1:44 PM CST
When I get near my crepe myrtles it's "abuzz" with honeybees, wild native bees, wasps & bumblebees. Admittedly I don't recall seeing any butterflies sipping form them but the bees both wild & domestic are enough to make it a hit with me.
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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Sep 13, 2015 9:52 PM CST
Crape Myrtle is fairly easy from cuttings - over winter hardwood is the hardest to do as with many species. Use softwood nodal cuttings and when depends on your zone - typically early summer. Be sure to use rooting hormone ( I prefer Dip n Grow), keep soil moist, shaded and bottom heat will help.

I push Zones on CM and have no huge trees - mine die back mostly each year. I do have 8 of 5 varieties. One from seed and one from cutting. Others were purchased.

Good luck.

BTW - bees of all types love mine and I have seen butterflies on my Pink Velour.
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Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Sep 14, 2015 7:38 AM CST
I live in northern Utah and this past spring planted a CM. It started blooming last month and I've seen many visitors to it including a single northern swallowtail butterfly. It didn't stay long but it was there. Bees and wasps of all kinds seem to like it.

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