Thursday, July 9, 2015

Caring for the Crepe Myrtle

The Crepe Myrtle or Crape Myrtle is a hardy and beautiful tree that will grow to different heights depending on the desired requirement of your purchase.  The label usually states how tall it will grow.  I seem to remember somebody saying to keep it away from your house because the color will smear the facade.

The Crepe Myrtle requires sunshine and proper drainage, good food and insect control.  I have not seen any insect around my Crepe Myrtle; however, moss has covered some of the branches but it is supposed to be harmless.

I have neglected my tree this year:  I didn't  fertilize and mulch around it.  I should have used plenty of pine straw as mulch because it likes acidic soil.

I noticed that some of the leaves have yellowed and it could be because I did not fertilize it properly this spring.  But I did fertilize the grass under and around it.  The Crepe Myrtle does not require special fertilizer so 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 will do very well and that is the kind that is used for the garden, too.

Fertilization of a grown Crepe Myrtle should take place in the spring.  If new trees are planted (and that is usually also done in spring), it is recommended that you fertilize every month from March through August.  Nursery staff recommend 1/2 lb to every 100 sq.ft.  You fertilize, broadcast, all the way out to the drip line (as far as the branches reach).  I try not to get fertilizer too close to the trunk.

What I feel is the most important in the care of the Crepe Myrtle is the pruning.  I absolutely feel sick when I see that the branches has been cut off and leaving knobs.  This is such an eyesore near road ways and in parking lots.  Please, prune your tree to look like a beautiful vase or let it grow free.

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