Trees and Shrubs forum: Crepe Myrtle pruning

Views: 319, Replies: 7 » Jump to the end

Psjoe
Jun 5, 2016 5:55 PM CST
Bought 10 Crepe Myrtle last summer and planted about 5' feet apart. This was on the instruction of the nursery and he picked them so I am assuming they are the dwarf type. We did plan the planting and spacing so I went on his word. I have 4 red, 4 purple and 2 pink.

I pruned them in late January when just about all leaves had dropped. Tried to prune them correctly and not butchering them, read about crepe murder. The branches varied from 16" to about 22" when i was done. Now June 1 and the new growth has already reached 20" to about 36". The pink ones are in full bloom and too heavy to support the weight. Purple ones starting, looks like same problem. Red ones grew the tallest and again, I bet they will fall over. I put a stake in the ground and tied off the pink branches to help support them.

My question is, what now? Stake them all for this summer? Prune back after 1st bloom drop. how far? Pruning next winter? I read a lot of forums on pruning and most people say don't, except light necessary trimming.

Will the branches thicken up over this year if I leave them alone?

Thanks for you help. The plants are beautiful and really make my front yard. Do not want to ruin them!

Joe G
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
Image
ssgardener
Jun 10, 2016 4:24 PM CST
Joe, where are you located? Do you remember the cultivar names? Some are shrubby and the branches naturally fall down. Pictures would be helpful.

Five feet apart sounds awfully close.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Jun 13, 2016 10:11 AM CST
I'm not sure I understand why they were pruned at all because it sounds like your goal was a natural, unpruned (not crape murdered) look.

Pics would make the discussion more specific & relevant, less theoretical.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.

Psjoe
Jun 15, 2016 4:42 PM CST
Thumb of 2016-06-15/Psjoe/3dbb1d


Thumb of 2016-06-15/Psjoe/5f2129

Live in S. Florida.
My local nursery has always been good to me. Family owned. So when I told him what I wanted and space available this is what he got for me. Didn't get the name of them.
Planted them last spring, pruned in Jan. He recommended pruning and I read a little online. But it seems not enough. So want to do what I can to make sure they go good for the future.
Pink ones in middle bloomed first, then purple, now reds. I have them staked, branches loosely tied to center stake as they
were bending over quite far. We had 6 days of heavy rains so that really knocked them down and loss of blooms.

Thanks for your input. Need better pics?
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
Image
ssgardener
Jun 16, 2016 11:29 AM CST
Joe, can you go back to the nursery for the cultivar names? Knowing their growth rate could come in handy.

Your climate is so different from mine (I'm at the northern edge of heir habitat) that I don't think I'd be much of help. I did prune one of my crape myrtles the first year but only to remove inappropriate growth like suckers and inward growing branches.

I have a new crape myrtle that I didn't prune the first year because it was already branched nicely. I'm expecting its flowers to droop a bit this summer.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Jun 16, 2016 12:34 PM CST
It might be helpful if you could find a pic of what you dream yours look like in a few yrs, and ask for advice for working toward that goal. When I first read your post, I got the impression you wanted them to look like trees, but with the way those start branching so heavily, so close to the ground, I'm not sure I'm clear yet about what your goal is for these plants.

There are a ton of pics in the various entries for various Lagerstroemias in the plant database on this site.
http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=lagerstroemia&but...

If you're unsure which yours are, the general entry also has many pics, though most are closer macros of blooms:
Crepe Myrtles (Lagerstroemia)

If you see a pic in the plant database on this site that demonstrates what you envision your plants looking like in the future, click on it and it will enlarge. Then you can show it in a post in this discussion by pasting this string right above the pic:
[ db_photo]124808[/db_photo ] (without the spaces I added.)
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Molly McKinley
Florida Tundra
Charter ATP Member Roses Xeriscape Ponds Butterflies
Image
MollyMc
Jul 4, 2016 12:09 PM CST
@Psjoe I believe these plants will grow pretty fast where you live. If you want them to be trees and not bushes, you probably should keep them staked, cutting the lower suckers off as needed. The trunks need some time to get strong enough to sustain a top heavy plant. The ones I grow here spend a lot of time gaining strength in the lower parts of the plants, not rushing to bloom.

The only pruning I do, is cutting branches off that are invading my pathways, along with the sucker cutting. AND, I do this any time I want. It's not necessarily a seasonal activity.

rbranch17
Aug 15, 2016 10:16 AM CST
Good Morning,

I just special ordered three 5 gallon multi-trunk Natchez for my back yard. However, when I went to pick them up, they were all single trunk with multiple branches starting at about 1โ€ณ from the soil line. All my research left me with the expectation that a โ€œmultiโ€ trunk specimen would actually have multiple trunks coming up from the soil. Do all propagated CMs actually start out as single trunk and are just pruned into multi-trunk? The desired end result is V shaped and I'm concerned these may end up in a U shape with the branches coming out horizontal at first before turning upward. I want to make sure I can prune to the desired shape AND that the lowest branches will remain strong that close to the base before committing to the sale.

Thank you for any feedback. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Trees and Shrubs forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by nativeplantlover and is called "Bumble Veronica Pink"