Plant of the Month: Crepe Myrtles

Southern Living calls Crepe Myrtles an “essential southern plant” and with good reason! These trees and shrubs provide beauty and interest year-round! Blooming begins in mid to late June and lasts for up to 100 days! Those blooms come in various shades of pink, purple, red and white. Once fall sets in, the color show continues with gorgeous fall color before winter reveals it’s uniquely striped bark.

Sizing varies depending on variety, with some shrubs varieties reaching no more than 5-6 feet tall and some trees reaching up to 30 feet. Crepe Myrtles shrubs are great for mass plantings, smaller trees to line a driveway or make a garden bed pop and enjoy the shade offered by larger trees like Natchez!

Full sun, at least 6 hours per day.

Moist, well-draining soil. Established Crepe Myrtles are moderately drought tolerant.

Crepe Myrtles prefer slightly acidic soil, between 6.0 and 6.5.

Pruning should be done in late winter/early spring while the tree is dormant.

  • You may have noticed Crepe Myrtles being severely pruned back in your neighborhood, leaving behind only the trunk and some rather ugly looking branch stumps. This pruning method is known as “Crepe Murder” and should be avoided. Not only does it look bad, such drastic pruning can stress your tree and leave it more susceptable to disease and insects. Crepe Myrtles can and should be pruned like every other plant, by removing dead, damaged, crossing or parrallel branches to improve airflow and overall structure.

Fertilize in spring with HollyTone.

Some of our Favorite Varieties

Autaugaville Crepe Myrtle
Centennial Crepe Myrtle
Colorama Crepe Myrtle
Natchez Crepe Myrtle
Pokomoke Crepe Myrtle
Ruffled Red Magic Crepe Myrtle