Proper Crape Myrtle Pruning

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by  Ludwig, Andrea Lorene  

February is a good time to prune Crape myrtles in Tennessee.  Crape myrtles bloom on the new season’s growth in spring, so trimming them in February before new grow starts is ideal.Trim off last year’s flower heads by cutting ¼ inch from an outward facing bud or branch (See photos above, #1).

Trim off remaining small branches on the stem (#2). Continue trimming branches remembering to cut out crossing branches and branches with narrow branch angles of less than 30 degrees (#3).  Prune to open up the interior of the plant to let in light and air that contributes to the health of the plant (#4).

When you are finished the plant will have a nice shape to begin growing the next season’s bloom (#4 half completed pruning, #5 compled pruning)!

Visit and watch Certified Arborist Wes Hopper teach viewers of The Family Plot, Gardening in the Mid-South how to prune a Crape Myrtle.