Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

How to Deadhead Crape Myrtles for Second Blooming

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Cut off spent crape myrtle blossoms by late July to encourage flowering again.

I’ve heard that if you deadhead crape myrtles, they’ll bloom again. Is this true?

Many varieties of crape myrtles can be encouraged to bloom a second time, but timing is important. Deadheading crape myrtles (removing dead or dying flowers) encourages new sprouts and blooms, but if you deadhead too late in the season, the tender new growth that is produced can be damaged by cold weather.

Follow these tips when deadheading crape myrtles:

  • July Deadline: If the blooms on your crape myrtles are already fading by the end of July, deadheading can encourage another (probably smaller) bloom in late summer.
  • Leave Late Bloomers Alone: Depending on your climate, many popular crape myrtle varieties don’t start blooming until June and keep on going straight through until fall. These varieties shouldn’t be deadheaded – not only can they be damaged by cold weather, but they probably won’t have time to produce more blossoms anyway.

To deadhead your crape myrtles, simply snip off the flower heads once the color begins to fade. If you aren’t trying to encourage a second bloom, leave the blossoms alone and enjoy the lovely seed heads that follow.

Julie

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11 Comments on “How to Deadhead Crape Myrtles for Second Blooming”

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  1. L.MILLER Says:
    June 19th, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Good info, I planted some NATCHEZ January 2012 but there is no sign of flowers yet. STILL HOPEFUL, Thanks

  2. B.Knight Says:
    July 21st, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I planted 2 Crepe Myrtles in my front yard 2 summers ago. They bloomed beautifully last year after I’d babied and watered them profusely since planting. Left the seeds alone all winter, they popped open long ago – but my plants have not put out one single bloom yet this year. It’s already late July and I miss seeing my beautiful fuschia blooms out there. Do I need to fertilize them? Or spray them with an insect killer? If so, what kind should I use? I’m hoping that if the problem can be solved I can still get some blooms before the first frost in late fall here in the lowcountry of SC. Thanks for your help!

  3. Audis Herdman Says:
    September 16th, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I have 4 different colors of crepe myrtles and they are doing super great. I live in Columbus,Ohio 43207. I thought I would try to grow them here and it paid off great.

  4. Judy Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Thank you for the article. I am still at a loss as to which fertilizer to purchase?

  5. Tony Says:
    July 7th, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    I have planted several crepe myrtles over the previous years. I deadhead mine after the blooms a completely dead. Also, root sticks for fertilizer every early spring is key. Keep them well mulched as well.

  6. Jennifer Says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I also live in the lowcountry of SC and planted two Acoma dwarf crepe myrtles in my front yard last summer. They were in bloom when I purchased them and planted them, however, this year (in July!) there is no sign of buds! I did notice spider mites on the underside of leaves so I sprayed them a couple of times with Natria at the end of June. A few days ago I fertilized them with 15-30-15 Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster and have noticed a total of two stems producing those red bundle of leaves you see right before buds develop. I will certainly be watching for more growth :) I also trimmed about 1/3 of the new growth (4 or so inches) off each Acoma as a test to see what they do between the growth already put out and the light pruning I did (I trimmed them the day before I fertilized).

    *B.Knight*>> I’d love to know if yours bloomed late last summer!

  7. Joanna Says:
    July 27th, 2014 at 8:27 am

    I have 2 crepe murtels in front of a rent house on my property. There are guys living there & they don’t water them. I want to dig them up & move them in front of my house where I have 2 more. We have temps coming up this week in the 80′s & ‘changes’ of rain 4 – 5 days in a row. When I plant them I will use root stimulator to give them a boost after disturbing them. Is there anything else I should do to hopefully insure they make the move.
    Thanks, Joanna

  8. Sue Says:
    August 13th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I started a crepe myrtle last year from a cutting. Although it had grown to 4 foot high this year, it didn’t have any blossoms by the end of July. So, I spread a cup or two of Bone meal around the trunk of the plant (and worked it into the soil a little). That was about two weeks ago, now a bunch of blossoms have appeared and they are getting ready to bloom.

  9. Mary Says:
    August 20th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Uhhh…Joanna…did you get permission from the owners of the property to dig up the plants? As a rental property owner, just want to say that the guys living there do not own the plants, unless it’s something they have added since moving in. I was thinking how upset I’d be if someone went and dug up roses and irises that I’ve planted on property that I rent. Just something to think about.

  10. Jennifer Says:
    August 21st, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    UPDATE FROM LAST MONTH: The two Acoma dwarf myrtles have both bloomed an abundance of large white blooms since I last posted! There are just as many buds waiting to open up as there are blooms, too!

    MARY – Joanna specifically says the rental house is on HER property, therefore, the trees belong to Joanna to dig up and move.

  11. Alfreda Pinkston Says:
    November 20th, 2014 at 7:04 am

    I pruned our Crepe Myrtles a few weeks before the big freeze. Do you think they will survive through the winter.

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