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Growing Crepe Mrytle in Arizona

I live in gilbert, Arizona... I have planted Crepe Mrytle in my backyard. It is around 8-10 feet tall and around 2 feet wide (Same size since planted i.e. 3 years). They get leaves in March-April and Flower from May-August. Then it starts shedding leaves for rest of the year. I want it to branch out and grow wider. How can i do this? What fertilizer should i use and which month?
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Posted 2016-01-24T22:56:07+0000  by Nilesh Nilesh

Hi Nilesh.


Thank you for your great question.


When planting a Crape Myrtle, it is important that you followed a specified regimen to ensure that your new tree would be able to grow to its full potential.  A mature Crepe Myrtle “tree” can grow to be 30 feet tall in the right conditions.  There are also Crape Myrtle shrubs that are much smaller.  Which variety of Crape Myrtle do you have?


Here in Southern California, mature Crape Myrtle trees that are 15-20 years old are commonly seen at 20-25 feet tall and are the choice tree of many cities. 


Although this tree does best in warm and humid climates, regular care will allow this beautiful and flowery tree to produce a spectacular array of pink, red, purple or white flowers depending on your variety, all thru the summer months. This tree is deciduous, which means that it will lose is flowers and leaves in the fall once the ground temperature falls below 50 degrees F. 


This type of tree grows best in a loose and well-drained soil.  To maximize your trees performance, you will need to provide regular watering in the hot summer months and fertilize it with a 5-10-5 granular fertilizer or its equivalent between February and March.  Be sure that the water and fertilizer are applied at the Drip Line of your tree.  Once your tree goes dormant for the winter months, little or no watering should be necessary.

Espoma 8 lb. Rose-Tone Plant Food


Keep in mind that not all varieties of Crape Myrtle will grow to its maximum height of 30 feet.  Some of the Crape Myrtle shrubs are only 3 feet tall.  Regular maintenance of your Crape Myrtle will also help its shape and performance. 

null Crape Myrtle, Pink Velour


Crape Myrtles will bloom on the current season’s growth, so they can be pruned in the spring and will still flower normally throughout the summer.  In the spring, do some minor pruning and remove the interior twiggy branches to improve air circulation.  Be sure to remove the suckers that want to grow from the base of the plant as well since they will take energy from your flowering tree.


Mulching around the drip line of your tree will also aid in moisture retention during the hot summer months.  The Crape Myrtle does well in the summer heat providing that it receives sufficient irrigation and fertilization if it is in a poor soil.

Earthgro 2 cu. ft. Groundcover Bark


Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.  Be sure to take some pictures of your tree and let us know how it is progressing.



Posted 2016-01-26T20:18:53+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
Take a look at this How to Prune Crape Myrtles post written a while back for proper pruning techniques.
Posted 2016-03-31T18:25:53+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL
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