How To Prune Leggy Crape Myrtles That Are Bending Over To Ground When Blooming

Filed Under: Trees, Pruning, Techniques & Methods · Keywords: How To, Prune, Leggy, Crape Myrtle, Crepe, Branches, Bending, Over, To, Ground, Bloom, Summer · 1727 Views
I have some relatively young (5 yrs old) crepe myrtles that I have never topped/murdered. My problem is that last year when they were in full bloom a slow, steady rain drenched them and they bowed down to nearly touch the ground. I thought they were going to snap so I I individually gently shook them and they came partly back up. I don't want to crepe murder them but I don't want them bending nearly to the ground in the rain again either. What do you recommend?

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Answer #1 ·'s Answer · Hi Fred - Crape myrtle usually have this problem: branches arching over during summer when they are pruned too far back in late winter or early spring, and then respond by shooting up long, thin branches that cannot bear the weight of the large flower clusters. Since yours have been left unpruned, it makes me think there might be something else going on that is causing the branches to grow too long and weak? How much sun do these crape myrtles receive during the day? Do you fertilize them...and, if so, how often and with what type or kind of fertilizer? Too much shade, especially during the afternoon hours can cause branches to stretch. Quick release fertilizers that contain too much nitrogen (the first number in fertilizer) can also cause accellerated and excess growth that can weaken branches.

If you can upload a picture of the tree that would be helpful. You can use the Upload A Picture link where it appears to the right of your name in your question above.


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