Crepe Myrtle Miracle- regrew after it died

Hi, everyone, this is my first post, be gentle. I started going to North Carolina five years ago and I noticed all these beautiful trees. A little investigation, Crepe Myrtles?

I'm from North West New Jersey, I had never seen or heard of this marvel, anyway I bought one at Home Depot in NC. We had a mild winter. Spring arrives all my plants come alive, except my Crepe Myrtle. I was heartbroken. July 15, 2017, here comes my miracle. It's alive and well. Guess what I'm buying this year?

t crepe myrtle miracle
  30 answers
  • Arlene Wolfe Arlene Wolfe on Jul 18, 2017
    It isn't a miracle. Crepe myrtle are one of the last woody ornamentals to bloom/leaf out.

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Jul 18, 2017
    I'm so glad it came back to life! Looks great!

  • Sus7887901 Sus7887901 on Jul 18, 2017
    I made the same mistake. An old neighbor used to cut back all foliage every year. It always came back beautifully!

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    • Kathy Seal Kathy Seal on Jul 18, 2017
      No need to cut back foliage! Removing suckers that come up at the bottom is all that is needed to control. Please do not murder your myrtles!! I have several in my yard. I let them grow naturally providing awesome shade. If a limb gets so long that I can't walk under it when mowing the lawn then I trim it back to the main trunk.

  • Mog27918347 Mog27918347 on Jul 18, 2017
    Mine froze, died and revived, thriving and blooming now!

  • Marie Cook Marie Cook on Jul 18, 2017
    These will run wild if you don't prune back each year and remove the little suckers that grow up. They are just as bad as Nandina and Mimosas.

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    • Marie Cook Marie Cook on Jul 19, 2017
      I've TRIED to kill a couple of them, but they just won't die. They just shoot up new runners and keep on going. Kind of like the Eveready bunny.. :) :)

  • Joan Kulp Joan Kulp on Jul 18, 2017
    I'm in VA. Same story. I saw them in NC and wanted one. It looked dead, and now is growing nicely.

  • Vivian Vivian on Jul 18, 2017
    How lucky you are!

  • Bob Fuller Bob Fuller on Jul 18, 2017
    I can't kill the ones I have. I even dug out root ball!

  • Gra24050966 Gra24050966 on Jul 18, 2017
    I love crepe myrtles, but please don't buy any more plants from any big box store like Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. The chances are very good that you will be bringing neonicitinoids into your yard, which will be deadly for pollinators. Buy from local nurseries who guarantee their plants are neonic free. The bees, butterflies and other pollinators will thank you.

  • Teresa Teresa on Jul 18, 2017
    I live in Texas. Crepes are plentiful and thriving here. Low water requirements, which is good for us. Channeling the poster above, please don't do "crepe murder" by cutting them back to their stubs each year. Just trim the little babies that pop up from the ground beside the main stalk(s). I have even dug up crepes before and they still come back. So, I let them be! Love the blooms as well as the hardiness of these things. Lucky anyone who has crepes in their landscaping!!

  • Phillyb Phillyb on Jul 18, 2017
    Thanks for the helpful comments. I had gone to a local nursery and the owner told me the crepe myrtles could not survive our winters so I should not bother to try to grow them. You can't even buy them around here, so friends, it might not be a miracle to you, but it is to me.

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    • Patricia fehr Patricia fehr on Jul 19, 2017
      I live outside Philly and you can buy them everywhere. I've also had good luck propigating them by taking softwood cuttings. Ive got 25 at last count. One thing to watch out for is Japanese Beetles - they love them! Good luck

  • Lte9312092 Lte9312092 on Jul 18, 2017
    I love crepe myrtles. They lined the driveway where I grew up. The man who prunes my big trees told me they were too big and too old to move. They are about 60 years old. Before I sold the property 3 years ago I dug up some suckers with root, planted to see what would happen. My plant is about 3 feet tall and has had flowers the past 2 years. I have part of my past and I'm happy.

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    • Lte9312092 Lte9312092 on Jul 18, 2017
      The smooth bark is nice. If we had to cut low branches from the myrtles, my mom used them in her crafts.

  • 17sunshine 17sunshine on Jul 18, 2017
    I have 7 crepe myrtles and love them! I live in So. CA and they leaf up early spring and then the blossoming begins. They are a good tree, because the roots don't take over as do other trees. I do pick off the suckers that grow from the bottom so that they'll continue to grow as a tree, not a bush. I also do prune/trim, as needed, so that the trees look even and not of the wild nature, because my yard is small. So far, nothing I've done has killed or ruined them. We have hot/dry summers so I water them a lot, including hosing the entire tree, because the hummingbirds drink water off the leaves and bathe in the water. I have several bird feeders in my crepes. They are happy trees & happy birds.

  • Kat8686 Kat8686 on Jul 18, 2017

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    • Karen Silman Karen Silman on Jul 19, 2017
      I have had Crepes both in MO and in Texas, I found it is best to trim them in feb or March so that they will bloom in the summer. I have topped them so the would get larger. The shorter you trim them down the prettier they will get.

  • Dia5371460 Dia5371460 on Jul 18, 2017
    will they grow in Canada

  • COCO COCO on Jul 18, 2017
    CREPE MYRTLES are deciduous trees/bushes. They lose their leaves in WINTER SEASON and grow new ones each spring. They are tolerant of"cutting back or pruning, altho a lot of DUMB people cut off all the slender branches each year and 'WITCHBROOM" their trees, making them weaker and vulnerable to disease. They grow new ones each spring. They are tolerant of"cutting back "or pruning, altho a lot of DUMB people cut off the slender branches each year and 'WITCHBROOM" their trees, making them weaker and vulnerable to disease.

  • Joanie Joanie on Jul 18, 2017
    Once you make friends with a Crepe Myrtle, Red Tips, and Wisteria, you have friends forever, from the South......they are ALL hardy and grow like weeds!! A Yankee by roots and a transplanted Southerner for 30 yrs,

    • 17sunshine 17sunshine on Jul 18, 2017
      Agree - I'm now a So. California transplanted from upstate NY almost 29 yrs. ago. I never knew what a crepe myrtle was until I moved here. They're all over the place! I don't even mind when they lose their leaves in winter, it's an organic look.

  • Sko24607091 Sko24607091 on Jul 18, 2017
    Can Crepe Myrtle survive in northern MN?

  • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Jul 18, 2017
    I always thought Crepe Myrtles to be the strangest tree ever. Strip bark from all around any tree will kill it. The Crepe Myrtle sheds their bark every year and grows new.

  • 17sunshine 17sunshine on Jul 18, 2017
    It's cool how the bark strips itself and falls to the ground. Mine were all planted as baby trees and have gotten so big, but I like that they don't get too big, maybe 20 ft. max in height, great for a small yard.

  • Phillyb Phillyb on Jul 18, 2017
    Oh, i forgot to mention, my garden consists of containers, my yard is limestone covered with boulders.

  • Kat8686 Kat8686 on Jul 18, 2017
    Do you prune them? someone told me only new growth blooms, or fertilize them?

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    • Ruthbrink Ruthbrink on Jul 19, 2017
      We live in Florida on the gulf side. We cut our crepe myrtles back every winter to the stubs. If we don't the tree goes absolutely wild and in our neighborhood that's a no no. We have had no trouble with them as they come back every year and each year the blooms are bigger and better and last longer. One thing we do for longer blooming is to cut off the berries that form when the bloom is over, and the tree sends out new shoots and reblooms with even more beautiful colors.

  • Sabrina Sabrina on Jul 18, 2017
    My husband's grandmother was from VA and she gave me a start of one, I've had it for several years, I prune mine every spring.

  • Theresa Theresa on Jul 18, 2017
    I've seen them growing wild here in Texas in the woods. I don't know if that is natural or not!

  • Phillyb Phillyb on Jul 18, 2017
    Kathy, are you a "GUY"? That's my last name. I'm always looking for relatives.

  • Susan Susan on Jul 18, 2017
    Check your crepe myrtle for aphids. We have had an invest of these nasty bugs and they will kill your trees. So please check your crepe mrytles.

  • Dale Dale on Jul 19, 2017
    If you trim off (= 'dead-head') the spent blooms very soon, crepe myrtles can re-bloom up to three times in a season!

  • Phillyb Phillyb on Jul 19, 2017
    Thank, Dale. I only have leaves so far, I don't even know what color the flowers will be, I'm hoping for red (or white, or pink, or purple or ANY).

  • Phillyb Phillyb on Jul 20, 2017
    You are kidding me! Thanks for your nice message.

  • Anna Felesena Summers Anna Felesena Summers on Jul 21, 2017
    I got really lucky to have several at the house I bought almost 2 years ago. I have in 3 different colors, white, pink and purple. They are beautiful.