How To Prune Crepe Myrtles

Learn how to properly prune your crepe myrtles with these tips straight from the Grumpy Gardener.


If you're a regular reader of Seven Living or my blog the Grumpy Gardener you know one topic I'm always talking about is crepe myrtles. Crepe Myrtles are a favorite plant in the south but unfortunately people don't always know how to take care of them. Well one of the things that people do They drive me absolutely nuts is they feel compelled to come out in the spring time and chop the tops off, why do they do that. Well, two reasons. First is, they look to see what their neighbor does which is always a terrible idea because a neighbor Has no clue. The second reason is they didn't check the label on the plant when they bought the Great Merle in the first place. The label. We'll tell you, how big does this plant grow? This is one right here that I've chosen, because it is a smaller crepe myrtle. This is a Tonto crepe myrtle. It's only going to grow eight to ten feet tall, so it's not going to be one you're going to have to chop the top out of every year. So, now that you've bought this crepe myrtle, Let me show you how to do the initial pruning so that it will grow into the beautiful plant that you want. Just going to take off all the stuff that's growing towards the middle of this plant. [MUSIC] And clogging it up. Not only does it make it look better, but opening up the center of the plant is actually much healthier for the plant in the long run, because it allows air and sunlight to reach the center. This is going to mean less disease, it's going to mean More flowers. Now when you're cutting, cut back to the trunk of the plant. And don't leave long stubs, cuz they look ugly and then new branches will simply grow from them. And you'll have to do this work all over again. [MUSIC] And this is how professional crate myrtle pruning is done. I know a lot of you are looking at this plant in horror. And going, why did he do that? I paid for all those branches and they're lying on the ground. Believe me, this is going to get your plant off to a good start. As it grows you wanna maintain this shape. You wanna keep taking out the center plants. You wanna keep the big trunks producing and going up and out. So if you're planting your crate marble this weekend, before you put it in the ground, put it correctly. Do it like I say, because I'm the grumpy gardener. [MUSIC]

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