My crepe mertle does not produce blooms!

  5 answers
  • Andrea Axelrod Sheridan Andrea Axelrod Sheridan on Jun 14, 2017
    There are four common reasons why a crepe myrtle doesn’t bloom. Let’s discuss.
    Reason #1. You planted it in the shade. Crepe myrtle likes full sun. The more sun it gets, the more flowers you get.
    Reason #2. The leaves and flower buds get covered with this fuzzy, white fungus called powdery mildew. Most crepe myrtles nowadays are mildew resistant, but old selections like ‘Carolina Beauty’ and ‘Watermelon Red’ aren’t. Powdery mildew causes leaves to shrivel and flower buds to die. So before you buy, check the plant label to see if the selection you’re considering resists mildew. If your crepe myrtle already has mildew, spray it according to label directions with either neem oil or Natria Disease Control, two natural fungicides you can get at garden centers. Next year, spray before it gets mildew.
    Reason #3. Hot, dry weather. Long stretches of hot, dry weather can cause crepe myrtles to stop growing and go to sleep. They just sit there, waiting. I’ve seen my ‘Miami’ crepe myrtle fully loaded with flower buds that don’t open for weeks waiting for the rain. Then we get a frog-strangler and voila! Blooms!
    Reason #4. You are an evil person. Yes, you. Sometime in your past you did something absolutely horrible that you have yet to make right. You know exactly what I’m talking about. As a result, universal justice is now being visited upon you. And until you right that wrong, you won’t ever see another stinking bloom on your crepe myrtle. The garden may be cruel, but it’s fair. Repent! Atone! And stop complaining!

  • How old is it and has it bloomed before?

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 14, 2017
    Where is it planted?Did you at some time prune it? Did you give it fertilizer and if so what and when?

  • Nana Van Nana Van on Jun 14, 2017
    Most flowering trees/shrubs should be pruned right after blooming. Otherwise, you are cutting off the growth that will produce flower buds.

  • Jill Jill on Jun 14, 2017
    Hi Sherilyn!
    I see you live in Texas which should be a warm enough climate for Crepe Myrtle. You'll want to prune it in late winter. February is ideal.
    Remove suckers at the base, crossing or rubbing branches, and branches growing inward toward the center of the plant.
    As the tree grows, gradually remove all side branches from the main trunks up to a height of 5 feet or so. Cut back to another branch, to just above an outward-facing bud on a branch, or to the branch collar (a swollen area where the branch joins the trunk). Try to remove unwanted branches before they get thicker than a pencil.

    Good luck!