My question is about crepe myrtles. Mine look awful, they do not always flower, the buds seem to just turn brown each and every year, some flower, but some do not. And yet I pass by some homes and business and theirs seem to flourish ! Could it be I should replant them and maybe feed them something special ? – Yvonne
Master Gardener Angela responds:
“Crape Myrtles for Central Texas Landscapes”
by Skip Richter, Travis County Extension Horticulturist / Texas Cooperative Extension
Crapes love sunlight, preferably at least 6 hours of direct sun. Although tolerant of a range of soil types, they perform best when provided good drainage. Work some compost into the soil throughout the planting area, rather than just in the planting hole. They will grow and bloom better with some extra nutrition. Select a fertilizer low in phosphorus (the middle number) for best results. A 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio product works fine. Apply a light application of fertilizer in late February or early March. If they lack vigor, they may benefit from another application in May. Keep them mulched to discourage weed competition and protect the soil surface.
Also, several articles suggest that many people over-prune their crape myrtles. Very little pruning is needed on a crape myrtle. Prune only to remove dead wood, broken branches, or suckers that appear at the base of the plant or along the trunk in the spring. When pruning a young crape myrtle, select 3-7 permanent trunks. Seed pods do not need to be removed, but can promote faster re-blooming in summer.
Information taken from the article “Stop the Crape Murder” by Greg Grant, Research Associate, Piney Woods Native Plant Center, Stephen F. Austin State University Nacogdoches, Texas