How to Prune Crepe Myrtles for Optimal Growth

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Most people think that pruning crepe myrtles is a difficult task, but it’s actually quite easy! By following a few simple guidelines, you can keep your crepe myrtles healthy and looking their best. Read on to learn how to prune crepe myrtles for optimal growth.

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Pruning crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) is essential for maintaining the shrubs’ natural beauty and preventing overgrowth. The best time to prune these shrubs is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

There are two main methods of pruning crepe myrtles: thinning and heading. Thinning involves removing entire branches, while heading entails cutting back the shoots of individual branches. Which method you use will depend on the type of growth you want to encourage.

Thinning promotes a more open growth habit, while heading encourages denser growth. If your crepe myrtles are overgrown, you may need to use a combination of both methods to achieve the desired results. Read on for more information about how to prune crepe myrtles for optimal growth.

The Right Time of Year to Prune Crepe Myrtles

Crepe myrtle pruning should be done in late winter or very early spring, just before new growth begins. This timing allows you to shape the plant while doing the least damage to it. Crepe myrtles can also be pruned in summer, but this will result in much more regrowth, which can be difficult to manage.

The Right Tools for the Job

Before you start pruning your crepe myrtle, make sure you have the right tools. You’ll need a sharp pair of pruning shears and a ladder if your crepe myrtle is taller than you are.

It’s also important to know how to properly sharpen your pruning shears. This will ensure that you make clean cuts that won’t damage the plant. You can watch a tutorial on how to sharpen your pruning shears here.

Once you have the proper tools, you’re ready to start pruning!

The Right Techniques for Pruning Crepe Myrtles

Pruning crepe myrtles the right way results in more flowers, fewer sucker sprouts and a generally healthier tree. But it’s important to know how to prune crepe myrtles correctly, because the wrong techniques can damage the tree and encourage excess growth.

Here are some tips on how to prune crepe myrtles:

-The best time to prune crepe myrtles is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.
-Start by removing any dead or diseased branches. Cut these back to the point of healthy wood.
-Next, thin out crowded or crossed branches to improve air circulation and light penetration. Cut these back to lateral branches or buds.
-Finally, remove any suckers that are growing from the base of the tree or from below the graft union (visible as a raised line on the trunk). Cut these off at ground level.

Pruning crepe myrtles correctly will ensure that they remain healthy and blooming for many years to come!


In conclusion, pruning your crepe myrtles can help them to grow healthier and faster. Be sure to remove any dead or broken branches, as well as any that are crossing or rubbing against each other. You should also prune back any suckers that are growing from the base of the plant. By following these tips, you will be sure to have beautiful, healthy crepe myrtles that will last for years to come!

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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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