can i prune dwarf crape myrtle?

trishaloveMay 4, 2014

My dwarf crape myrtles are bigger than I would like. They are about five feet and planted in a border now taking over my other shrubs. I would like to cut them back some but worried about stunting blooms. I planted them probably 7 years ago. I've never trimmed them but have noticed they don't flower as profusely as before. There is very little info on the web regarding pruning dwarfs. I have seen to prune after flowering, winter, and/or early spring. It is now first week of may in Washington DC (7a?7b?). I see some new green leaves just recently. Is it too late? Should I wait? Will I be trimming off flowers? THANKS!!!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

pruning is pruning.. there would not be different rules for a dwarf .. there should be lots of info online about such ...

the usual default.. is to trim after you enjoy the flowers ...

or before if you simply cant stand it anymore.. lol ..

some pix would sure get you better .. more specific info


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 7:03AM
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Yes, I wish I would have pruned them last summer after they flowered. I did read an article that stated pruning a dwarf myrtle was much different than pruning a myrtle tree. Even described to what point on the branches to trim them back (back to the branches that are pencil sized). But it said to trim in winter. So I am just concerned I won't have any flowers this summer if I trim them. I guess I will just see what happens.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 3:49PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

All crapes bloom on new wood, so I wouldn't think it would be much a problem to prune them now. The dwarfs do tend to bloom late though, and likely your blooming would be delayed a bit more from pruning. But if you need to prune it, you need to prune it.

Are they leafing out yet?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Ditto to what dave just said. They don't start forming their flower buds until much after the foliage has grown out. I would also prune now to the shape you want them.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 3:34PM
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