Crepe Myrtle-Do I have to prune?

wanda9flSeptember 7, 2007

It's coming up on fall pretty soon, and I wondered if I have to prune my "Natchez" Crepe Myrtle. It's a multi-trunk, about 10 feet tall. It has taken a beating in this summer heat and it's leaves are edged in yellow. After the last rain it put out some new growth and it looks healthy.

Do I sacrifice its height and trim it or just leave it alone? If I leave it, will it ever get bushier and fuller?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tropicalfreak(z10b Ft Lauderdale)


Hi Wanda,

You will soon find that this is touchy subject.
All I can say is, "Don't Commit Crepe Murder"


    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are absolutely right. I once committed Crepe Murder and
I was reprimanded and straighten out. I'm a repented Crepe
Murderer I was given a second chance.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is recommended that you prune only branches up to the size of a pencil.Also, if you deadhead the seed pods, you will get another bloom cycle.

I have the Natchez variety and I shape it as I remove the seed pods. In February, I may give it another pruning to thin out some of the branches.

Your crepe myrtle is deciduous and will loose it leaves this winter.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 7:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tropicalfreak(z10b Ft Lauderdale)


The Blackbirds take care of the seed pods for me down here. Win, win.

: )


    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 8:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Up here in the great white north of Atlanta, GA folks drastically cut these back in springtime. They leave bare wood to about 4-ft tall. The plant flowers on new wood.

I prefer to limb up the plants and remove criss-cross branches. I like small trees more than tall shrubs.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 8:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It really depends on which variety you have. Some get very large (>40 feet) and some stay shrubby. Many of the tree forms seem to level out about 25 feet.

I stopped trimming mine about 6 or 7 years ago. I occasionally prune a few lower branches but I couldn't reach the top if I wanted to! I have 3 in my yard and they provide nice dappled shade to my garden for part of the day. Here's a photo that shows the lower part of one of the trees.

This photo is a year or 2 old but gives you a good idea of how they fill out when left unpruned.

This one is from 2005 and they are larger now but you can see that even without trimming, they still bloom.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks everyone, for your input. I'll thin out the skinny little branches when the time is right

Solstice, this is exactly the look I'm trying to achieve. I didn't want a bush and I sure didn't want to commit crepe murder.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 9:25AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Mystery tree
Has small silvery/gray leaves, almost furry looking......
Legal issues with using trademarked materials for breeding projects?
I don't really see a 'legal' or 'law' forum on here....
Central Florida Vegetables
Broke the rules a bit, and put my tomato transplants...
African Queen
I started 5 seeds over a week ago and so far have 1...
Planting Poinsetta plant in ground - Ft. Lauderdale
I have a Poinsetta I purchased in December that still...
Shelly K.
Sponsored Products
Heaven I Pendant by Fire Farm
$226.80 | Lumens
Bali Neat Pleat Pleated Shades: Crepe
Nonstick Crepe Pan
$29.99 | zulily
Black and White Story One-Light Wall Sconce in Black Satin Lacquer Finish
$693.00 | Bellacor
Haba Biofino Crepes - 3819
$28.49 | Hayneedle
Austin Collection 17 1/2" Wide Bathroom Wall Light
Lamps Plus
Portobello Road One-Light Coupe Wall Sconce in Dore Finish
$798.00 | Bellacor
Heaven & Earth I Table Lamp by Fire Farm
$291.60 | Lumens
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™