KC Gardens

Non-blooming crepe myrtle

Q&A

I planted a crepe myrtle 3 years ago. The plant is thriving, but it has never bloomed. Is there something I need to do? - Susan -

Comments

  1. 8 months, 2 weeks ago

    Crape myrtles are so pretty right now. Sorry yours is not blooming. There can be several reasons, so here some things to consider:

    Crape Myrtles absolutely need full sun, at the very least 8 hours of uninterrupted sun. Lack of sun can lead to poor bloom.

    They bloom on the new growth produced in the spring. So the question is did they have good growth this spring?

    Another factor can be improper pruning, again because they bloom on new growth, if the plant is pruned after the new growth appears, one would be cutting off the blooming wood.

    Too much fertilizer, especially high nitrogen, can also inhibit bloom, as the plant just puts on new leaves and has no incentive to produce flowers.

    Too much nitrogen fertilizer by inducing lots of new tender growth can also lead to an aphid infestation. Aphids would weaken the new growth and therefore inhibit flower bud production.

    Poor drainage could be another factor, as Crape myrtles need excellent drainage.

    One last factor could be the variety, some bloom better than others.

    All that said, given that your plant enjoys well-drained soil, and gets 8 uninterrupted hours of sun, I would not fertilize or prune your crape myrtle and see what happens next year.

    Hope this helps.

    Carole Johnson County Extension Master Gardener

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