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Shape your Crape the Right Way

Crape myrtle adds beauty to landscapes. It is hardy, drought resistant, and relatively disease free. Such a marvelous ornamental deserves our care and respect. So please, whatever you do, don’t “murder” your crape. That’s actually what landscapers jokingly call it when people cut back a crape myrtle’s large limbs and leave only stumps. What happens then is that a whole bunch of new growth will come out near the cut, which will make the plant look like “pom-poms on stalks,” according to the University of Georgia extension service. The thick growth also is more susceptible to aphids. The proper way to prune these lovely, summer-blooming plants is to selectively prune any limbs that are at least pencil width. Otherwise, leave the larger limbs to mature and create a graceful plant.

Here’s a link to more information about crape myrtles.

crape myrtle
Improperly pruned.

Properly pruned and thinned Crape Myrtle
Properly pruned and thinned Crape Myrtle.

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