How to care for a crepe myrtle tree
Anyone who has driven down a street lined with crepe-myrtles in flower will want one for their garden. Whilst some of the older established varieties had the potential to grow as high as 25 feet (8m), now there is a much wider range of crepe myrtles to select from. Many of these being powdery-mildew resistant strains, are a very real benefit in humid climates.
Quite prominent round seed-heads will develop after flowering, which in themselves can be a feature; first green, eventually changing to a dark, brownish-black.
Crepe myrtles are at their best in a frost free zone. Plant into a humus-rich soil, in full sun to very light shade.
Water well during the summer months, especially during the first year. Once established, crepe myrtles become reasonably drought-tolerant.
Feed crepe-myrtles twice a year, spring and summer, with a slow-release fertilizer.
Pruning is often a debatable point between horticulturists. Most agree, that unless the crepe-myrtle tree is too large for its current position, there is no need to prune anything other than the spent flowers.
Avoiding heavy pruning will allow the tree to grow gracefully, with more natural, arching branches. Eventually, this makes for a most attractive, mature crepe-myrtle tree specimen.
Mark Viette explains how to prune your crape myrtle and its seed pods.