If you're a crepe myrtle enthusiast or just someone who appreciates the beauty in them, you may have recognized the mesmerizing charm of crepe myrtles. These stunning flowering trees, with their delicate crepe-paper-like blossoms, add a touch of magic to any landscape. But wouldn't it be wonderful if we could make their blooming spectacle last as long as possible and intensify their floral fireworks? Well, my fellow gardeners, fret not! In this blog, we'll share some expert tips to extend and enhance the blossoms of these botanical wonders.
1. Sunshine - All the Time:
For a blooming extravaganza, make sure you plant them in a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. They are sun-loving performers who thrive in the spotlight! If your crepe myrtle is already established in an undesirable location, you can look to transplant it to a better spot or just try some of the other tips below to see if you can get some gorgeous blooms throughout the season.
2. A Tree’s Best Friend – Soil:
Plant health always starts at the root, and crepe myrtles are no different. These trees have a secret best friend: well-draining, loamy soil. If your garden soil leans towards clay, don't worry! A bit of organic compost will make it the perfect home for Hampton Roads’ favorite tree. While speaking of soil, mulch is also a very important aspect to keeping your crepes blooming. Spread a 3-4 inch layer around the base of your crepe myrtles every season to keep their roots warm and snug during the colder months as well as cool in the warmer months. Healthy roots lead to healthy blooms!
3. Watering - When Needed:
Crepe myrtles need regular watering to produce abundant blooms. Regular rains should do the trick, but you will need to help your crepe out more during dry spells. However, don’t be too hasty to water as overwatering can lead to disease and root rot. Let the soil dry slightly between drinks to keep your blooms happy.
4. Pruning – A Crepe Myrtle Haircut:
Pruning is essential to keep crepe myrtles in top-notch shape. But remember, moderation is key! Prune during late winter or early spring, before the trees start their growing season. Light trimming is the way to go, so they can bloom and sway gracefully. Deadheading is the act of removing spent blossoms. Be their personal stylist and snip off those faded flowers to make way for fresh, new buds. This way, your crepe myrtles will keep strutting their stuff all season long.
5. Plant Food – The Pièce de Résistance:
The most essential thing you can do to get your crepes to bloom is to feed them consistently. Feed them with a plant food specified to crepe myrtle blooming news such as Espoma’s Holly Tone or Osmocote during their growing season (spring to summer) to help them unleash their full blooming potential. To see what plant food would work best for your crepe myrtle, ask our Green Team members at the Garden Pharmacy desk.
With these expert tips up your gardening gloves, you're now equipped to be a true crepe myrtle whisperer! Extend the show and intensify the magic by giving your crepe myrtles the love and care they deserve. From bud to bloom, let's make every moment in the garden a floral fiesta! Happy gardening! To learn more about what’s growing on at the garden center, check out Mike, the Garden Guru, and his webinars with new plants, products, and expert planting advice. To keep inspired and grow with us, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok to dig into the joys of gardening!