Grumpy's 'Miami' crepe myrtle. Photo by Steve Bender.

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Q: My crepe myrtle bloomed great last year. But this year, it hardly has any blooms at all, even though it looks healthy. Why? Bo Dacious

A: Bo, chalk it up to the extremely hot, dry summer that many of us have suffered through this year. Crepe myrtle is tough, but blooming takes a lot of energy. When temps rise above 100 degrees and not a drop of rain falls for weeks, the tree goes into survival mode and just sits there. However, once the heat scales back and you get a soaking rain, it quickly responds with flower buds and flowers. This is what happened to Grumpy's crepe myrtle. It usually starts blooming in June, but this year waited until August, which was cooler and rainier than usual. Now it's absolutely beautiful and blooming more heavily than ever before.

 

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