Pruning Crape Myrtles

Asked September 2, 2020, 11:56 AM EDT

Do you have any i formation in the appropriate time and instructions of how to properly prune Crape Myrtles?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Crape myrtles require little to no pruning. The type and amount of pruning depends on the desired shape and size of the plant. There are many types of crape myrtles which include low shrubs to 30 foot tall tree types. They should be pruned to remove unhealthy branches, to remove suckers, and to allow more air movement in the tree canopy. The time frame to prune is early spring as they bloom on the current season’s growth.

As mentioned, it is not necessary to prune crape myrtles, but we see others doing so and feel obliged. This happens so often severely that it has a name: crape murder.

The best way to maintain a crape myrtle at a particular size is to plant a known cultivar that will mature at the desired height and spread. For more information on pruning see the following links:

Clemson Cooperative Extension

http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/landscape/trees/hgic1009.html

Virginia Tech

http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-451/430-451.html

Marian