How to Prune Small Crepe Myrtle Bushes

Get tips on the best way to prune small crepe myrtle bushes in this helpful blog post.

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Introduction

Pruning your small crepe myrtle bushes correctly will result in a fuller, more attractive plant. The best time to prune these bushes is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Use sharp, clean pruning shears to make clean cuts at a 45-degree angle. Follow the natural shape of the bush when pruning, and remove any dead or damaged branches. Be sure to clean up any fallen leaves or branches to prevent disease.

The Right Time of Year to Prune

You can prune small crepe myrtle bushes any time of year, but the best time to prune them is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. This will give the plant time to recover and produce new growth before the hot summer months.

Pruning at the wrong time of year can damage the plant and make it more susceptible to disease and pests. Pruning in late summer or early fall can stimulate new growth that will not have time to harden off before winter, making it more likely to be killed by frost.

The Right Tools for the Job

Pruning shears are the basic tool you’ll need to prune small crepe myrtle bushes. Look for a pair that is comfortable for you to hold and that cuts cleanly without crushing the stems. You may also need a step stool or ladder to reach the top of the bush.

A pruning saw can be useful for larger branches, and a sharp knife can be used to cut through tough stems.

To disinfect your tools, dip them in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. This will help prevent the spread of disease from one plant to another.

How to Prune

Pruning may seem like a daunting task, but it’s really quite simple. The most important thing to remember is that you should never prune more than one-third of the plant. This will ensure that your plant has enough foliage to support its growth.

To prune your crepe myrtle, start by removing any dead or diseased branches. Then, cut back any branches that are growing too close together. Finally, trim back any branches that are longer than the others.

If you follow these simple steps, you’ll have no trouble keeping your crepe myrtle looking its best!

After You Prune

It’s best to prune crepe myrtle bushes in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. But if you need to prune at other times of year, that’s OK, too. Just be aware that pruning can stimulate new growth, which may not have time to harden off before the first frost of winter. So if you do prune in late summer or fall, take care not to overdo it.

Here are a few things to keep in mind after you prune crepe myrtle bushes:

-Prune crepe myrtles when they are young. They will require less pruning as they mature.
-Don’t top crepe myrtles! Topping creates weak, leggy growth and encourages suckering (the development of multiple stems). It also destroys the natural shape of the bush.
-Be sure to clean your pruning tools before and after use. This will help prevent the spread of disease.

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