Planting Crepe Myrtles

lagerstroemia-x-siouxAre you already dreaming of the bright, cascading blooms of spring and summer trees? You’re in luck. Just like planting spring-blooming bulbs and improving on the irrigation in your landscaping, establishing trees during fall pays off in the early months of spring. Crepe myrtles are southern classics, adding beauty and timelessness to any landscape. Their graceful trunks, vivid fall foliage, and decadent summer blossoms have sparked a centuries-long love affair. When planning your warm-weather eye candy, this is one plant you don’t want to overlook.

Planting Crepe Myrtles

With our temperate Alabama weather, there’s still plenty of time to establish the root systems of your newly planted trees. Crepe myrtles grow best if planted when dormant, making fall a peak season for nurturing new specimens. To help your crepe myrtle flourish, choose a location that receives full sunlight. Shade stifles your summer blooms, leading to wilted or underdeveloped flowers that fall far short of the spectacular purples, pinks, whites, and reds you’ve anticipated during fall planting. Test your pH and drainage before planting. Crepe myrtles need good drainage to thrive, and grow best if the pH is between 5.5 and 7.5. Till the soil to allow oxygen and nutrients to penetrate the root system.

Pruning Crepe Myrtles

Pruning trees keeps them shapely and healthy, allowing new blooms to unfold come spring. But there’s no other tree that’s poorly pruned as often as crepe myrtles. Prune your trees in mid-winter to prevent a cold-weather growth spurt that will weaken your plant. Follow a pruning guide to prevent the creation of stunted, stubby limbs that are too weak to properly bear blooms. Good pruning will accentuate the natural elegance of your crepe myrtle, creating long, graceful limbs that add beauty to your landscape, even during the winter.

Contact 3am Growers to purchase your ornamental trees this winter.