Crepe Myrtle Seed Pods

schellehawk89(Zone 8 Georgia)July 25, 2007

I really need to know if you can take crepe myrtle seed pods from the tree before they turn brown...the tree I want them from is going to be pushed down soon. I would let them dry out at home if they can be taken now. Please, if you know, let me know ASAP. Thank you.


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If they are mature enough when you remove them from the plant, they should be viable once they dry out. If they aren't, they won't. Take some off the crape myrtle as late as you possibly can and give it a shot. What have you got to lose?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 12:37PM
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schellehawk89(Zone 8 Georgia)

Thank you wishiwrineastex,
I've already had to take them off of the tree. I have left them on the branch, though. I don't know what to do with them next. I've never done this before. What should I put them in and where? Do they need light and warmth? I have no clue. They are a little larger than a green pea. I just truly hope they work, because the tree is going to be pushed down really soon. Thanks for your response. I need all the help I can get. What do I need to do with them to dry them out? Please let me know.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 6:33PM
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Growing Crepe Myrtle from seed requires large amounts of seed. Out of seven or eight large (and some dwarf) Crepe Myrtles, I end up with only a handful of seedlings each year. I would be happy to give you some seedlings but there is no guarantee as too color. Most turn out fuschia to red to purple.

A better alternative for you is to dig/cut some large roots from around the base of your GF's shrub and plant them. Shoots will come out from them rather easily.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 2:19PM
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schellehawk89(Zone 8 Georgia)

Thank you Angela. I would love some seeds if you have any to spare. I don't care what color, really. I just wanted to keep my Grandfather's tree going. So, I should dig up some of the larger roots? Can I plant them in containers and get them going inside? It's really hot here in GA in the summer. I will dig up some if the tree is still there. There is a new highway going through there and the tree is going to be pushed down. I truly thank you for your advice. I have no clue what I'm doing. But I would honestly love to see that tree go on in memory of them. It's a beautiful lavender color that they planted about 50 years ago, together, as they did everything together. I just want to keep that memory going. I would love some of your seeds, if you have any to spare. Just let me know what I need to do. my email address is: Give me a to speak. Thanks again,

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 2:51PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Crape myrtle seeds need to mature ON THE PLANT. They aren't 'ready' until the seed capsule has turned brown and is beginning to break open to release them.

You can take cuttings, however, at this time of year. That is the surest method of reproducing the trees that you are so fond of.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 3:04PM
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schellehawk89(Zone 8 Georgia)

Thank you rhizo,
I have never done this before. I have taken some "new growth" cuttings and stuck them in ordinary potting soil. Is there any special way or process that I need to be doing to assure the best possible chance of getting them to root? I'm worried that I want this to work too badly. I'm going to also try to dig up some of the roots of the tree and plant them also. Can I plant them in containers and get them going inside? It's really hot in SE Georgia this time of year and I'm afraid that they will die on me as well. As I said, I'm NOT good at this type of stuff. That's why I am bugging everyone else about it. I'm just trying to keep the geneology of this particular tree going, because it was my now deceased grandparents' tree that they planted over 50 years ago.
Please give me some advice on what I should do with the cuttings and roots. I need all the help I can get. I apoligize for any inconvenience that I may be causing anyone, but I just can't stand by and do nothing when this tree is over 50 years old. It's a gorgeous lavender color that I want to save. Thanks again for all your advice.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 4:42PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I've never heard of crapes being propagated by root cuttings, so I can't help you with that one. But stem cuttings shouldn't be too difficult for you.

There are many ways to do this successfully. I'll explain it simply, but you should do some reading to get more background. Others will have their favorite method, too.

Take the cuttings from the newest growth, remove any flowers and/or seed pods. Take the cuttings with clean, sharp by-pass pruners (scissors action) so that the cuts are not smashed. They shouldn't be more than 6 inches long. Remove about 3/4 of the leaves (from the bottom of the cuttings) and stick into a very coarse, fast draining peat based potting medium with extra perlite added for porosity. You can use anything that allows you to insert the cuttings at least two inches deep, but don't use a container that is overly huge or one that does not drain. I typically use a plastic flat like the ones that bedding plant cell packs are carried in, or even into cell packs.

Keep the cuttings moist, located in a shady location outside. They won't like the dry air inside. Do NOT keep checking your cuttings as you will destroy any fragile new roots that may be forming. I wouldn't touch them for about a month. If you feel resistance when you tug very gently after that amount of time, your cuttings have rooted. Leave them alone for several more weeks so that a proper root system can be developed, and then you can repot into slightly larger containers.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 3:40PM
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schellehawk89(Zone 8 Georgia)

Thank you rhizo. I am trying that right now. If all else fails, I'm going to cut the tree down myself. It's about 25 feet tall. Then I'll dig up the root ball and bring it to my yard and try planting the entire thing. At least I'll have it here, if it's going to re-grow. It's the only thing else I know to do. We'll see what happens. Thank you for all your help. I truly appreciate it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 5:53PM
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