Crape Myrtle care
I have many crape myrtles, but they look good in my yard. For years I have wondered about the best way to cut, prune, or care for them. All of the rules seem to pertain to small plants, not large ones like mine. It is very popular to say not to commit crape murder, but mature plants can take over a major part of your yard if you are not careful.
Yesterday I went to two sites on You Tube where they demonstrated how to prune them. One is our own Oklahoma State Extension, and the other is Arkansas Extension.
The helpful recommendation that I had never seen before is to begin the spring growing season with 3-5 main canes.
I cut five of my very large plants to about 7 canes, removed many or most of the leaves and small growth up to about 2-3 feet from the ground, and they are beautiful. I always do cut mine down to about 4 feet in the spring because they look better in my garden like that.
My crape myrtles are quite old, and for those purchasing new ones, you can pick your size. As for me, I do not want to try to dig out my crapes that are so old, and I enjoyed reading about how to care for them.
In the fall or spring I intend to try to remove some of the old wood at the base of these plants. If any of you know how to do that, I would love to know. If I were to allow the plants to grow all of their canes, the total would reach more than 40.