How to Prune and Care for a Crape Myrtle 

Crape myrtle, a garden favorite, grows up to 5 feet per year and blossoms all summer. Tracy Harrison, Monrovia Nursery Production Planning Manager, says specimen trees provide summer shade.  

Depending on locale, the U.S. has two species with various cultivars and variations. Most common is L. indica Indian crape myrtle.  

Crape myrtle can be a bush or tree due to its vast range of sizes. Tracy recommends 15–20-foot-tall varieties for tree formation.  

It needs water during the growing season but always prefers well-drained soil. Tracy recommends administering a comprehensive slow-release fertilizer in April.  

How to prune a crape myrtle is disputed. Every year, certain crape myrtles are aggressively pruned, leaving a stump that damages and disfigures.  

Compact bush-types have several benefits, including lovely spring foliage hues.This characteristic alone makes a good foundation plant.  

I enjoy Monrovia's Summerlasting series. Summerlasting Strawberry, a glossy red compact new growth, is my favorite.  

Tracy advises conservative pruning. Cut the trunk or the larger branch the superfluous branch is joined to slightly outside the branch bark collar.  

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