If you live in the Lowcountry, think about planting crepe myrtles this spring. These gorgeous trees are a familiar sight in the Carolinas, thriving in the warm and mild climate. With care and attention, these flowering trees will grow to be up to 25-feet tall!
Crepe Myrtle is also stunning, which is why so many homeowners and businesses choose these trees for their property. They bloom in late summer and the blossoms are typically shades of pink, purple, red, and white. Since these trees are easy to maintain once they are settled-in and established, they seem to be a smart choice for any landscape.
Make sure that your Crepe Myrtles are planted in a spot that receives full sun and in soil that is well-drained. These trees require sun to prosper and they don’t do well with wet roots. Initially, the natural precipitation may not be enough, so plan on watering your Crepe Myrtles for the first couple of years to help establish a strong root system. Don’t spray or fret about pests too much as this is not an overriding issue with these trees. Occasionally, you may have to deal with a few aphids.
When you want to cultivate and nurture a young Crepe Myrtle, the soil is important. It can’t be too wet and they prefer to be planted in the late spring or early summer when they are still growing and their root system can adapt well. Plant a bit above the ground and give plenty of berth for the roots to extend and settle. Check the pH of your soil; Crepe Myrtle prefers it a bit acidic.
As long as you plant your Crepe Myrtle trees with care and attention, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about pruning or thinning, however if you do want to trim your tree, do it gingerly and gently. You may also want to carefully prune to shape your tree in hedges or remove dead branches. If you pinch-away suckers and shoots, you can keep the tree slim and elegant in a landscape. The tree is dormant in winter but you can basically prune these trees any time of the year.
You can truly make your Crepe Myrtle into what you wish- a towering, flowering tree or a shorter ornamental hedge, based on your needs. The thing to remember is that this versatile tree will last for generations with some care and attention, enhancing your Carolinian curb appeal for years to come.
Thinking about Crepe Myrtle for your property? Talk to the professionals at Terra Bella Garden Center, a Local Garden & Landscape Design Center based in Charleston, to learn more or arrange for services this season.