KC Gardens

Trimming crepe myrtle


When is the best time to trim these bushes? How should you trim? - Bob -


  1. 1 year, 7 months ago

    If need be, Crape-Myrtles should be pruned in the spring since they flower on new growth. You can also assess how much winter damage has occurred. If it is an older plant, even if there is no die back from winter, you should remove some of the five to six years old stems. This encourages new basal growth, and keeps the plant vigorous. Other than that, no pruning necessary.

    Do not prune now, as it would encourage new growth that would not have time to harden off before freezing temps arrive.

    There are some great pruning bulletin links on our website at www.johnson.ksu.edu under lawn and garden, then publications.

    Hope this helps, Carole Johnson County Extension Master Gardener

  2. 1 year, 7 months ago

    This year, I tried a pruning technique on my crape myrtles that I use on many perennials. I cut them back by 1/4 - 1/3 twice before they set their buds. The last time I pruned them was in mid-June. This makes for a shorter plant with a more compact habit, and it increases the number of blooms quite a bit. I am very happy with the results and will do this again next year.

    Apart from that sort of pruning, I’d leave them as they are until spring to see how far down they’ve died back. Usually, mine die back to the ground, but the mild winter last year kept most of the stems alive.

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