How to Prune a Crape Myrtle

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Many people are intimidated by the thought of pruning a crape myrtle. The following steps will show you how easy it can be.

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Pruning Basics

Pruning is an important part of keeping your crape myrtle healthy and looking its best. Proper pruning techniques will help promote new growth, prevent disease, and improve the overall appearance of your shrub.Read on to learn the basics of pruning a crape myrtle.

The three main types of pruning

Pruning can be divided into three main types: formative, restorative, and maintenance pruning.

Formative pruning is done to young plants to establish their desired shape and size. This type of pruning is also done to plant specimens that are being trained into a certain form, such as topiary shapes. Formative pruning should be done oncrappy myrtles every year while they are young, until they reach the desired size and shape.

Restorative pruning is done to repair damage or restore vigor to overgrown or neglected plants. It is often heavy-handed, removing large branches and thinning out dense growth. This type of pruning should be done carefully so as not to damage the plant further.

Maintenance pruning is done regularly to keep plants healthy and looking their best. It involves removing dead, dying, or diseased branches; thinning out crowded areas; and removing crossed or rubbing branches. Maintenance pruning can be done any time of year, but it is best to avoid doing it during the plant’s active growth period.

The best time of year to prune

Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring, before the new growth begins.

Pruning a Crape Myrtle

Pruning a crape myrtle correctly will encourage new growth and produce a fuller, healthier plant. It’s best to prune in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Follow these steps to prune your crape myrtle.

The three main types of pruning

Pruning a Crape Myrtle may seem daunting, but it’s really not too difficult. There are three main types of pruning: thinning, heading, and rejuvenation.

Thinning is the most common type of pruning and simply involves removing a branch back to its point of origin on the trunk or larger branch. This is typically done to improve air circulation and sunlight penetration into the interior of the plant.

Heading cuts are made closer to the trunk or larger branch than a thinning cut, and remove the entire branch. This type of pruning is often used to control the size and shape of a plant.

Rejuvenation pruning is a more drastic type of pruning that involves removing all or most of the branches on a plant. This is typically done on older plants that have become overgrown or have lost their vigor.

The best time of year to prune

Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) are one of the South’s most beloved flowering trees. They are relatively easy to care for and can grace any size yard with their showy summer blooms and attractive fall foliage. One of the most common questions gardeners have about crape myrtles is when to prune them.

The best time of year to prune crape myrtles is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. This will give the tree a chance to heal before the hot summer weather sets in. However, if you need to do some shaping or size reduction, you can prune your crape myrtle at any time during the growing season without causing too much damage. Just be sure to avoid pruning during the flowers’ peak bloom period, as this will remove many of the buds that will produce next year’s flowers.

After Pruning

It’s important to know how to prune a crape myrtle correctly, so you don’t damage the tree. After you prune your crape myrtle, it’s important to take care of the tree. This includes watering it, fertilizing it, and mulching it.

How to care for your crape myrtle after pruning

Pruning is a necessary part of keeping your crape myrtle healthy and looking its best. But how you care for your tree after pruning can be just as important as the pruning itself. Follow these tips to ensure your crape myrtle stays healthy and recovers quickly from pruning:

-Water the tree deeply immediately after pruning. This will help the tree recover from the stress of pruning and prevent it from drying out.
-Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to help retain moisture and protect the roots.
-Fertilize the tree in early spring to encourage new growth.
-Monitor the tree for signs of disease or pests, and treat accordingly.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books

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