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Old 07-06-2010, 12:09 PM
 
330 posts, read 830,967 times
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HI all, I live in San Antonio and my crepe won't bloom this year! It is 2 yrs old and did bloom last year so I don't know what went wrong. In March I snapped the dead edges off so I don't know if I hurt it in some way. ny ideas
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
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I had a similar problem with my crape myrtles last year. In fact, not only did they not bloom, they didn't even bud with leaves. I assumed they were dead. But about mid-summer, they started coming back. The only thing I had done differently is that I had pruned them late that previous winter. I later found out that unlike other trees and bushes, they bloom on the new growth instead of the old. This past year, I left them alone and they are fine.

In the future, if you want to "force" the bush into a tree, there is a way to prune them where you won't have this problem. Just do a google search and there are lots of sites that will explain how to do this.

Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,937 posts, read 83,581,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janetvj View Post
I had a similar problem with my crape myrtles last year. In fact, not only did they not bloom, they didn't even bud with leaves. I assumed they were dead. But about mid-summer, they started coming back. The only thing I had done differently is that I had pruned them late that previous winter. I later found out that unlike other trees and bushes, they bloom on the new growth instead of the old. This past year, I left them alone and they are fine.

In the future, if you want to "force" the bush into a tree, there is a way to prune them where you won't have this problem. Just do a google search and there are lots of sites that will explain how to do this.

Good luck!
We have always had gorgeous crape myrtles but since we moved here we have gotten almost no blooms. I used to prune (literally cut them down) anytime of the year, totally ignorned them and they were beautiful. Last year we had a few blooms but they were late and we are just now getting a few, but certainly not many.

Nita
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Do a search in the archives about this problem As I remember there was alot of talk last year about no blooms. good luck
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:20 PM
 
Location: South Central Texas
114,169 posts, read 54,166,826 times
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I've never read up on Crepe Myrtles. I live in San Antonio also and have two Crepe trees in the backyard. One is huge the other behind my workshop and not as big. Because of it's location I don't want it any bigger. We have two bush like crepes in the front yard. We don't feed them. I prune the ones in front most years. The trees in back I prune the side, lower offshoots. They are all blooming well this year. Wish I could help you.. haven't heard of problems in particular to crepes. They could have not bloomed some year that I don't recall!
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Piedmont NC
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Default Summer 2010

This has been a most strange season for the crepe myrtles here where I am. They bloomed early, and I was surprised because my gardening books claim the crepe myrtle needs consistent hot weather -- 80 degrees or better -- to produce buds and to bloom, and we had a nice, cool Spring.

They are also blooming like m-a-d, so I have NO idea what's up.

We did have a very wet, very cold winter.

Unless you want to shape your crepe myrtles, there is no real reason to prune them, and please, be mindful not to commit what gardeners refer to as crepe murder. Nothing looks as bad as a crepe myrtle pruned back to its main trunk. You may also have better luck keeping the suckers at the base of the plant, pulled off the trunk, instead of pruning them. If you don't prune the old blooms, the birds will love you -- especially the finches, who'll munch on them all Spring until the new growth emerges.

If you are after a particular size to your myrtle, there are also a number of different varieties available now, too; some even in the form of bushes, instead of trees.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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Crape Myrtles seem nearly indestructible in these parts and it doesn't sound like you did anything harmful, unless somehow the twisting and breaking rather than cutting with pruners damaged the branches. It is possible you "pruned" too late and actually broke off growth tips that would form the flower.

A good reference for care and pruning: HGIC 1009 Crape Myrtle Pruning : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina


The only other thought, was there any kind of cold snap after you trimmed the branches? It's possible that new growth was stimulated only to be damaged by cold.

One of the best articles on when and how to trim and care for the Crape Myrtle was the following: Crepe Myrtle Pruning Step-by-Step - The Grumpy Gardener - SouthernLiving.com I just discovered the author, and his book, thanks to another CD member.


My Crape Myrtle was first planted in the spring of last year so I'm learning as well. So far I got away with trimming mine right after it had its main bloom last year and was rewarded with a second blossoming later in the summer and a pretty thick and happy tree this year.

**************

I've always known it as Crape Myrtle and found a funny commentary about the different spellings out there. The following quote came from this article which seemed well said. Floridata: Lagerstroemia indica



The common name of this plant is crape myrtle not crepe myrtle. It is called this because the flowers have crinkly petals that resemble the material called crepe (which according to Webster is a "light crinkled fabric woven of any of various fibers") but many references tell us that you're supposed to spell it crape when it's in front of myrtle. Confused? I think somebody was full of crape when they came up with this name! At any rate, it's a common name and since there's no authority that manages common names for plants you can spell (or call it) whatever you like!
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:10 PM
 
330 posts, read 830,967 times
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Thank you guys for all the help!! I checkecd out the websites and it seems that I didn't do anything really drastic, so I think I will wait it out and see what happens
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
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We have several in our yard that are in full bloom right now, but we have one that never blooms until much later in the summer. It's in a different part of the yard. More shaded and cooler than the rest. Right now it doesn't even look like it's going to bloom, but it looks this way every year. Then after all the others are finished, it blooms. Maybe it's just much more shaded, so it's slower setting buds.
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,937 posts, read 83,581,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debzkidz View Post
We have several in our yard that are in full bloom right now, but we have one that never blooms until much later in the summer. It's in a different part of the yard. More shaded and cooler than the rest. Right now it doesn't even look like it's going to bloom, but it looks this way every year. Then after all the others are finished, it blooms. Maybe it's just much more shaded, so it's slower setting buds.
that sounds just like ours.

Nita
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