Fertilizing crape myrtle

How & When to Properly Fertilize you Crape Myrtle

How to Properly Fertilize Your Crape Myrtles

Everyone wants to get the most blooms from their Crape Myrtles.

By following these simple instructions your Crape Myrtles will bloom all summer long and amaze your friends and family.

One rule of thumb to always remember, Crape Myrtles Only Bloom on New Growth!  So more new growth equals more blooms. 

Read the instructions below to learn the best way to ensure healthy new growth.

1.  Choose Your Fertilizer

We at The Crape Myrtle Company like to keep things simple.  The less complicated, the better!  As soil types vary greatly across the United States, we like to recommend multi purpose fertilizers.  Using these types of fertilizers will cover your bases if the soil in your area is deficient in a certain element or trace mineral.   The easiest to use and most well known fertilizer is Miracle Gro.  However, if you have many Crape Myrtles you wish to fertilize, using Miracle Gro can become expensive.  Any variety of 10-10-10 Fertilizer with trace minerals will do just fine, and is available at most farm supply and home improvements stores for about $15 for a 50lb bag.  If you do not wish to take the time to fertilize often (as you would need to do with Miracle Gro or 10-10-10), you can choose a slow-release fertilizer, such as Osmocote.

These are only our general recommendations.  You may use the fertilizer of your choice.  You know your soil best.  Just follow the instructions on the provided with your fertilizer of choice.  When choosing a fertilizer for your Crape Myrtles, keep in mind that they are heavy feeders and are more prosperous when fed often. 

2. Fertilize in Spring

Begin fertilizing in Spring with the fertilizer of your choice (liquid, slow release or granules), when the first leaves start to appear.   Established, well rooted, Crape Myrtles are heavy feeders.  Lightly fertilize every two weeks throughout the spring and summer months.  This will promote optimal new growth.  Remember, Crape Myrtles only bloom on new growth

For young plants (such as the one's you will receive from our nursery), lightly fertilize once a month during the first year's growing season.  This will ensure the young roots spread properly and become well established. 

Always water your Crape Myrtles after applying your fertilizer.  Then water once a week, or more often if you live in a dry, arid climate.

3.  When to Discontinue Fertilization and Regular Watering

Discontinue your fertilizing routine in later fall and begin watering less often.  This will help the plants "harden off."  Hardening off a process which better prepares the plant for winter dormancy.  It essentially toughens up the plant so it may withstand the drier, colder conditions of winter.  It's during this winter dormancy that you'll want to prune your Crape Myrtle if you so desire.   See our Pruning Page for detailed instructions. 

These are the simple Secrets for growing Crape Myrtles that bloom for 5 or even 6 months per year. Remember Crape Myrtles are different from any other woody perennial in that they bloom on NEW GROWTH MADE IN SPRING AND SUMMER. The more new growth you can create by planting them in a good potting soil and fertilizing weekly, the more flowers you will have to enjoy!

Avoid 'crape murder,' prep your crape myrtles for success

In the spring, crape myrtles add color with flowers. In the fall, they add color with brightly colored leaves. (Photo by Keith Weller, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org)

Southern gardeners love crape myrtles, but many don’t know how to properly care for them to realize the full, gorgeous blooms they expect in the summer.

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents regularly answer questions regarding proper care and maintenance of the popular flowering tree. The keys to success with crape myrtles include adequate sunlight, slightly acidic soil pH, good drainage, proper pruning, adequate fertilization, mulching and insect control.

They love the sun

Crape myrtles need full sun — at least eight hours or more of direct sun daily — to thrive and bloom. Crape myrtles will not be their best with less than eight hours of direct sunlight, so gardeners should check the sun patterns in their yards before choosing the right spot to plant crape myrtles.

Soil pH is an important factor in making sure your crape myrtles flourish. Crape myrtles thrive in slightly acidic soils with a pH of about 6 to 6.5 to use fertilizer efficiently. If that level is off, the gardener will be left with substandard plants. Before planting, have your soil tested by your local Extension office to properly prepare your site.

Prune in late winter, fertilize in early spring

Late winter is the time to prune crape myrtles, but it isn’t necessary to prune all of your crape myrtles every year. Some trees may not need to be pruned.

Prune the trees so that they maintain a natural shape, and thin out branches to allow light into the canopy. Do not just cut off the top of your crape myrtle trees. This pruning method is so drastic it is often referred to as “crape murder.”

Then, to maximize spring growth and summer bloom, fertilize crape myrtles in early spring just prior to new growth.

Fertilizers including 8-8-8, 10-10-10, 12-4-8 or 16-4-8 will work fine and are ideal for crape myrtles, but don’t go overboard.

Overfertilizing trees will cause excess growth and reduce the number of blooms on each tree. Soil test results will include a recommendation for the proper amount of fertilizer, which can be applied directly over the tree’s mulch.

Mulch to fight weeds, trap moisture

When planting crape myrtles, gardeners should install a layer of mulch about 3 to 5 inches deep in an area twice as large as the planting hole.

Insect damage is a frequent problem on crape myrtles and aphids cause much of that damage. Aphids release bodily fluids onto the foliage and the resulting “honeydew” can lead to sooty mold, a black discoloration that can occur in the summer and fall.

Sooty mold usually causes little damage, but it can reduce the plant’s vigor. Crape myrtle cultivars that are resistant to aphids are available, or you can treat other cultivars with insecticides to reduce sooty mold. Always carefully follow label directions on all pesticides. 

By following the practices outlined here, your crape myrtles should perform their best for years to come. Contact your local Extension office to learn more.

what and when to feed, what nutrient mixture to choose, what to do if it does not bloom, and the main nuances of care

Myrtle is an ornamental shrub, an unusual fragrant evergreen plant. There are 30-40 species. Causes constant admiration among flower growers for its colorfulness. The leaves are opposite, on short petioles. The flowers are small, pink or white, fragrant, bisexual.

It is interesting that its fruits - black berries - are edible. This southern plant contains valuable essential oil in its leaves. Many lovers of rare plants are wondering: what do you need to grow a myrtle bush at home?


Why is fertilizer so important for a plant?

Help. The basis for the qualitative development of a plant is soil rich in microelements, such as potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. In order for the myrtle to please the hostess with flowers every year, it must be fertilized.

The plant is quite capricious in care. How to fertilize myrtle and why is it so important for him?

Depending on which tree you want to get. If small, then fertilizer with nitrogen is selected. For flowering, choose a composition where there is a lot of phosphorus. A complex mineral fertilizer is well suited, it is possible with microelements. To avoid excess calcium (he does not need this), you should pay special attention to the composition.

What are the signs that myrtle needs to be fed:

When and how to feed?

Fertilizer should only be applied to moist soil. Otherwise, the roots will be burned and it will not be absorbed. Compliance with the feeding dosage is also important. From excessive myrtle can die.

Important! Always use a nitrogen fertilizer after the first transplant. In the spring-summer period, it is constantly fed. It is not recommended to do this in winter. During the period when the plant is actively developing, once every one to two weeks.

Ready mixes

Myrtle is suitable only for special complex mixtures, which are intended for container cultures and only in liquid form. Use fertilizers "Kemira universal", "Kemira - combi". Nitrogen-potassium fertilizers are also useful. You can try liquid complex fertilizers:

The growth of young shoots is increased by the components that make up the liquid.

For a rich crown, you need to add Zircon or Ecogel to the irrigation water, you can spray the crown with it.

Homemade mixes

What should the hostess do if there is no way to buy the mixture in the store? Of course, cook it yourself. Useful liquid ash mixtures:
  1. two tablespoons of ash per liter of warm water;
  2. insist two days;
  3. water twice a month.

Attention! To make the soil rich, mix with humus in a small amount when transplanting into the ground, this will help to avoid using store-bought fertilizers for a while. It is useful to add charcoal and sand to the soil in equal parts.

In addition, many owners of the world with many years of experience keep the secrets of preparing special tinctures and mixtures that make their plant luxurious. For example, nettle tincture will be useful.

Myrtle does not like calcium, it is better not to add crushed eggshells. He also does not need coffee grounds, tea leaves.

The secrets of proper feeding

Myrtle feeding must be correct:

Long-acting fertilizers should be left aside. There is no need to alternate mineral supplements with organic ones, this myrtle is useless.

The use of fertilizers for garden plants is generally prohibited for myrtle. It is necessary to water the plant well the day before fertilizing. And only a day later, diluting the fertilizer with warm water, feed the myrtle. It should be diluted with water because very often the concentration of the fertilizer is excessive.

No matter what the hostesses feed their beloved myrtle, if there is not enough light and water, it will die. Proper temperature and humidity aid its growth. For this you need to organize the right lighting, think about where to put the pot of myrtle. Buy a lamp if all windows are north.

Mist the myrtle regularly because it loves water so much. And then the plant will delight you with strong leaves, beautiful flowers, and maybe fruits.

What to do and how to fertilize if the plant does not bloom?

Myrtle blooms touchingly and beautifully . But there are times when this does not happen. We need to help the plant. To do this, in the period from March to August (the time of active development of flowers), various types of complex mineral fertilizers are used. Definitely with phosphorus.

Of course liquid also for container cultures. Also, if you want to see a plant with flowers, you do not need to prune it in the spring.

Additional room care

In winter, these wonderful plants need coolness. Do not put it on the north window, as there will be a lack of light. No need to worry that they will freeze on the closed balcony. In the spring, myrtle loves abundant watering, you do not need to save money with this. It is also important that the volume of the pot for the plant is not too large, and the composition of the soil is good.

Fruit formation requires either artificial pollination or insects. It is better to transplant once every four years. Myrtle is easily propagated by cuttings, it is worth trying this type of plant breeding.

Myrtle is a symbol of prosperity in the home. Various wreaths and bouquets are made from it. It is originally called the "tree of the bride. " The leaves have antioxidant properties.

It is a sacred tree among many peoples, it is also often found in the Bible. In the nineteenth century, a pot with a small myrtle was given to girls at the wedding with best wishes. So the one who plants myrtle, according to tradition, will have a wonderful strong family.

Proper care of ancient Myrtle at home. Secrets of the flower!

Myrtle is a very ancient symbol. Even in the days of the Roman tribunes, it was customary to wear wreaths from this plant on the head. Currently, English brides have a tradition of putting a small flowering sprig of myrtle into the wedding bouquet.

The aroma of the plant is very pleasant, it contains a large amount of essential oils, which are highly valued in the manufacture of perfumes and in the treatment of folk remedies . Growing myrtle at home is not only interesting, but also very useful.

Propagation of myrtle

The main method of propagation is cuttings. It makes it possible to preserve the varietal character of the mother plant. In addition, myrtle is grown from seeds.

Branches from non-blooming side shoots are suitable for cuttings . The optimal cutting size is ten centimeters. At the bottom, the leaves should be cut off, and the resulting cut should be treated with a special preparation that stimulates the formation of roots.

Prepared cuttings are planted in moist soil. Ideally, this is a mixture of quartz sand and high-moor peat. An important condition is the observance of the soil temperature, it should not be below 25 degrees Celsius. From above, the shoots are covered with glass or plastic wrap. Rooting occurs within a month. Then they need to be seated in separate containers.

When propagating myrtle with seeds , there is a possibility of losing the varietal characteristics of the plant. Planting material is placed on top of a moist substrate and sprinkled on top with a small layer of soil. Its composition is the same as for cuttings, only at will instead of sand, you can take vermiculite. After sowing, the container must be covered with polyethylene or glass. The optimum temperature for seed germination is from 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. After fourteen days, shoots will begin to appear. Seedlings should be dived into separate containers after the first pair of leaves appears.

It should be noted that the dive process is poorly tolerated by the myrtle. For some time, its growth stops, so it is very important to provide young seedlings with good care. Flowering myrtle grown from seeds, will start in 5 years , after the first seeds have hatched.

Transplanting a tree

Myrtle is a slow growing plant, so it is not often transplanted. For young plants, this is done annually, for more mature ones, no more than once every three years . In this case, each time you should choose a larger pot. The best container is one in which, after watering the plant in the morning, the soil remains moist until the evening. The most suitable time for this procedure is winter. Just then, the myrtle begins a period of rest.

Before transplanting myrtle, watering is completely stopped until the earthen clod dries. This is necessary in order to be able to remove the plant from the pot without difficulty.

Holding the tree with one hand, turn the pot over with the other. Experienced flower growers practice treatment of myrtle roots with a stimulant, then it takes root well.

A layer of drainage is laid on the bottom of the selected container, then a layer of expanded clay and only then the prepared soil mixture. The tree is placed in a pot and sprinkled with soil. After that, it is necessary to water the plant well and put it in a place where the light does not fall.

The soil mix must contain:

Do not apply to the soil mix manure. The substrate must be slightly acidic.


Pruning is a very important part of myrtle care. The procedure is quite simple, but you can’t do without it, because the tree looks much more attractive if its crown is well-groomed and carefully formed.

Pruning is also used to stimulate the growth of lateral branches . By making such manipulations with young shoots, over time, an original form of myrtle with a very aesthetic appearance can be created.

It should not be forgotten that some leaves that negatively affect the appearance of the tree are carefully plucked off.

Flowering characteristics

Myrtle blooms in July, so pruning in spring is not recommended . It is best to produce it after the tree has faded. During this period, the plant must be carefully looked after: watered in a timely manner and in sufficient quantities, provide constant access to fresh air. Depending on the variety, myrtle flowers can be found singly in leaf axils or collected in voluminous brushes. Basically they are all white, consisting of six or four petals.

Top dressing and fertilizer

The myrtle tree loves and needs top dressing. In the summer, fertilizer should be applied every week or once every fourteen days. Ideal for these purposes are special mixtures for indoor flowers, which can be bought at any specialized store. Phosphorus-containing dressings have a good effect on the flowering of myrtle . It will be frequent and continuous. Fertilizers, which contain nitrogen, help to maintain the small size of the tree.

Rules for watering an evergreen tree

Myrtle is watered abundantly in summer. You also need to make sure that the earthen ball is not too waterlogged. Leaves should be sprayed daily with spray bottle . When the weather is hot, this can be done much more often, up to several times a day.

At home, myrtle should be kept at high humidity. To do this, you can place containers with water around the plant, or put a flowerpot on moistened expanded clay.

With the onset of winter, the tree does not need much moisture. Watering at this time is carried out once every seven days and spraying no more than two times. How often you need to water or spray the myrtle depends on how warm, light and dry the room is. You need to use soft, well-settled water.

Diseases and pests, how to deal with them

The appearance of myrtle can lose its beauty due to improper care. If the plant is in direct sunlight, its leaves will soon fade, twist in the shape of a pipe. In insufficient light the leaves will become pale, the stems will begin to stretch. You can correct the situation by rearranging the pot in a cooler and brighter place.

Myrtle is an evergreen tree, so the fall of the leaves in winter indicates that the plant is too hot or not enough light.

This reaction is to be expected even if watering is too intensive, so it should be reduced.

The most common pests of myrtle: