Posted by Newt on July 10, 2003 at 16:36:57:
In Reply to: Crape Myrtle posted by Sandra on July 06, 2003 at 21:22:17:
: I planted out a Crape Myrtle 2 years ago and my husbands thinks we should mow it down right before winter, because it looks dead.(I think he's wrong!) One year we left it alone, but it never did anything, so we mowed it down in the spring and it came back up. So how do you actually care for a crape myrtle. I want it to grow tall. Please help!! I live in Kentucky, we have pretty mild winters.
If your hubby keeps running over the crepe myrtle, it will be a shrub and have lots of suckers that come up from the base. Crape myrtle is one of the most versatile plants in the landscape. It can be pruned to a tree form by selective thinning, or to a shrub by pruning it to within a foot of ground level. It is a summer-flowering shrub, so prune it during late winter or early spring. You can encourage a second flush of bloom during late summer if you remove the seed clusters after the flowers fade and if you thin some of the new growth.
Crape myrtle shaped as a tree form often sends up vigorous shoots or suckers from the base that can easily be removed by hand when they are young and succulent. Some garden centers also sell a sprout-inhibiting compound that you can apply to the base of the plant to prevent the growth of suckers.
I personally like it as a multi trunked tree, but it's your option. Hope this helps.