Pruning 101: How to Prune Crapemyrtles

Crapemyrtles are distinctive both for their beauty and for the active debates surrounding their pruning needs. Crapemyrtles do not require pruning and the only reason to prune the shrub or tree is for shaping and thinning. Overpruning Crapemyrtles will limit their natural growing potential (particularly ones that can grow to a mature height of 15 feet), decrease the number of blooms, and create a weak branch structure. 

You know you're looking at an overpruned Crapemyrtle when there is no increase in height or blooms over time, and stem branches have grown too long to support the weight of the blooms. Furthermore, Crapemyrtles should never be pruned during the early winter months as the occasional warm week or two may trick the Crapemyrtle into sprouting premature growth and cause frost damage. The proper time to prune Crapemyrtles is late winter to early spring.

To learn more about shaping and thinning Crapemyrtle tree varieties, like the Southern Living® Plant Collection's Delta Jazz® Crapemyrtle, click here.

liner-plant