How to Prune Crepe Myrtle Bushes

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Get tips for pruning crepe myrtle bushes from the horticulture experts at Gardener’s Supply.

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Pruning crepe myrtle bushes is an important part of keeping them looking their best. But it’s also important to know how to prune them properly so you don’t damage the plant.

Here are some tips on how to prune crepe myrtle bushes:

-The best time to prune crepe myrtles is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.
-When pruning, always use sharp, clean tools.
-Be sure to remove any dead or diseased branches first.
-Next, remove any crossed or rubbing branches.
-Finally, trim back any remaining branches by about one-third their length.

By following these tips, you’ll help keep your crepe myrtle bushes looking neat and healthy for years to come!

Why You Should Prune Crepe Myrtle Bushes

Pruning crepe myrtle bushes can encourage new growth, help the plant to produce more flowers, and improve the overall health of the bush. It is important to prune crepe myrtle bushes early in the spring, before new growth begins. For more tips on how to prune crepe myrtle bushes, read on!

To Maintain the Shape of the Bush

Crepe myrtle bushes are generally easy to take care of and don’t require too much pruning. However, if you want to maintain the shape of the bush, it’s important to prune it regularly. You should prune crepe myrtle bushes in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

Here are some tips on how to prune crepe myrtle bushes:

-Start by removing any dead or diseased branches.
-Next, cut back any branches that are rubbing against each other or crossing over each other.
-Then, thin out the bush by removing some of the oldest branches. This will help improve air circulation and allow sunlight to reach the inner branches.
-Finally, cut back any long or leggy branches. Cut these branches back to a healthy bud or branch.

Pruning crepe myrtle bushes doesn’t have to be difficult – just follow these simple tips and your bush will stay looking neat and tidy all season long!

To Encourage More Blossoms

Pruning crepe myrtle bushes encourages more blossoms. The way to encourage more blossoms is to prune the bush so that it has an open center. This open center allows sunlight to reach all the way to the center of the bush, and this exposure to sunlight encourages more blooming.

To Prevent the Bush from Getting Too Large

Pruning crepe myrtles is essential if you want to keep these bushes looking their best. Left unpruned, crepe myrtles can become very leggy and suffer from disease and pests. But, with a little time and effort, you can keep your crepe myrtle bush looking neat, healthy and beautiful.

There are a few different ways to prune crepe myrtles, but the most common method is to prune them to prevent the bush from getting too large. To do this, simply remove any dead or dying branches and then trim back any remaining branches by about one-third. This will encourage new growth and help to keep the bush compact.

Another reason to prune crepe myrtles is to shape them into a particular form. For example, you may want to trim them into a globe shape or an inverted cone shape. Whatever shape you choose, simply remove any branches that are growing outside of your desired shape.

Finally, you may also want to prune crepe myrtles in order to thin them out. This is particularly important if the bush is getting too crowded or if some of the branches are blocking sunlight from reaching the lower branches. To thin out a bush, simply remove any unwanted or excess branches.

Pruning crepe myrtles is a simple task that can have a big impact on the health and appearance of these plants. By taking the time to prune your bushes regularly, you can keep them looking their best for years to come.

How to Prune Crepe Myrtle Bushes

Crepe myrtles are a favorite flowering shrub in many southern gardens.Although they are drought tolerant and can tolerate a fair amount of neglect, like all plants, they need occasional pruning to maintain their shape and encourage new growth.

The Three Types of Pruning Cuts

Pruning crepe myrtle bushes is an important part of maintaining their health and appearance. But before you pick up your pruning shears, it’s important to understand the three different types of pruning cuts: heading, thinning, and renewal.

Heading cuts are made on the main branches of the bush, just above a node (the point where leaves intersect the stem). Heading cuts stimulate growth in the buds below the cut, which can create a more compact, denser bush. But be careful not to overdo it—too many heading cuts can result in an overcrowded, weak bush.

Thinning cuts are made on secondary branches and remove entire stems back to their point of origin on the main branch. Thinning cuts help promote airflow within the bush, which reduces the risk of disease. They also help reduce weight on heavily laden branches, which can lead to breakage.

Renewal cuts are made on older wood near the base of the bush and remove entire stems back to their point of origin on the main branch. Renewal cuts stimulates new growth from dormant buds, which can rejuvenate an aging bush. They also help reduce the overall size of a bush that has become too large for its space.

When to Prune Crepe Myrtle Bushes

Pruning time for crepe myrtles varies depending on the cultivar and growing region, but generally speaking, it’s best to prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

If you wait until summer or fall to prune, you risk stimulating new growth that won’t have time to harden off before chilly weather sets in, increasing the chances that it will be damaged or killed by frost.

How to Make the Cuts

When pruning crepe myrtle bushes, the three D’s rule applies: Dead, Diseased or Damaged. Any branch that falls into one of these categories should be removed. Once you have removed the dead, diseased and damaged branches, you can begin shaping the crepe myrtle bush. When shaping, always make your cuts at a 45 degree angle just above a leaf bud. This will promote new growth.


In conclusion, pruning crepe myrtle bushes is not as difficult as it may seem. With a little bit of patience and the proper tools, you can easily achieve the desired results. Remember to always use clean, sharp pruning shears and to make sure that you do not remove more than one-third of the plant’s growth. With proper care, your crepe myrtle bush will continue to thrive for many 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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