Crapemyrtle produces vivid flowers in a variety of colors, making it a favorite for numerous landscaping purposes. In Maryland and surrounding regions, it can be grown alone as a shrub or small tree, and when grouped together creates a stunning hedge or living screen for privacy.
If you’re planting crapemyrtle, choose a variety with a mature size that scales appropriately to the space. This ensures a natural fit and minimal trimming. You should also select a color that matches the outdoor aesthetic. From cherry red to dark purple and virtually every shade of pink, Homestead Gardens has crapemyrtle varieties to meet your exact desires. Check out this handy reference guide from Homestead Gardens.
Plant in good soil comprised of heavy loam to clay. Keep in mind that crapemyrtle prefers sun and heat, and should have adequate moisture and proper drainage. A light application of 5-10-5 fertilizer in early spring is beneficial. Consider using Leafgro compost and Biotone plant food to help crapemyrtle thrive. A Treegator watering bag helps ensure that just the right amount of moisture is available for optimum growth during warm months.
For established crapemyrtle, spring is the ideal time to trim just before it leafs out. Remove low limbs to create a taller canopy. To create a tree-like appearance, remove branches from the center and any suckers popping up from the base, leaving a few main trunks. To maintain a certain height, remove twiggy growth from the top and sides of the plant.
Remember, all crapemyrtles will produce recurrent blooms if the plants are not permitted to develop seed. This means you need to remove spent blooms. On very large trees, removal of very large clusters may be difficult. Therefore pruning is restricted to thinning lower trunks.
In the fall, do not trim crapemyrtle or water extensively. Trimming at this time can hurt the tree, and too much water will encourage fall growth; you want plants to harden and prepare for winter. Additionally, add HG Maryland Select Shredded Hardwood Mulch to protect against root freezing.
Crapemyrtle is a wonderful addition to any yard. With stunning summer blooms and striking fall leaf color, it’s a visual treat all year long.
For help selecting the right crapemyrtle for your conditions, visit with a Homestead Gardens expert in store.