Hacked Crepe Myrtles – Here Is What To Do Now

Hacked off Crepe Myrtle often called Crepe Murder

Typical young shoot growth on cut back limbs

Break off all but three young shoots per stem making sure you pull them off and leave a smooth limb.

Results of only leaving three new shoots per limb

Keep all other shoots removed from each limb, other than the three you originally chose.

So you followed what many of your neighbors did and cut your crepe myrtles back. Now the sticks (limbs) are putting out new shoots like crazy. Lots of shoots do not make for a beautiful small tree (yes I said small tree because that is how crepe myrtles are classified). If you will prune to three young shoots per cut back limb, as shown above, I think you will be very happy with the flower quality, and hopefully these limbs will be strong enough to support the flowers that will grace this tree in early summer. But remember, crepe myrtles are small trees and should be treated as such.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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