Crepe Myrtle doesn't bloom

melissa_thefarm(NItaly)July 27, 2006

We have had a crepe myrtle in the ground for about two years now, and have not seen it flower since we planted it. It was bought as a large potted plant, in bloom, and it looks good, but it doesn't flower, also doesn't set and abort buds that I see. The plant looks very healthy, with no disease, no bugs, and with polished, happy foliage. We live in Italy, and I'm not at all sure this is natural crepe myrtle country, as we have a heavy clay soil and droughty summers. The site has some shade, more sun, the planting hole was amended with organic matter and the plant is kept well mulched and gets some water when it gets really dry. It's in one of the cooler spots of our property, has not gotten cold enough in winter to get frozen back since we've had it. Our area has a mild climate, with winter lows seldom falling below 10F, but with abundant winter chill (to give you an idea, we have both lilacs and Lady Banks roses growing in the same area as the crepe myrtle). Is it possible that some conditions that the plant requires to set buds are not being met? Any help is appreciated.


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This is a shot in the dark, but it sounds to me that direct sunlight may be the critical factor. The more direct sun crape myrtles get, the better they bloom.
How warm are your high temps? They like warm/hot weather.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 1:44AM
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Hi, eldo. Thanks for writing.

Summers are plenty warm, I'd say, with weeks of highs in the eighties to nineties during the day (during our current drought it's been getting over a hundred), though cooling at night to the seventies, at times sixties. Our heat-loving roses are blessedly happy here, for example.

I'll consider the shade factor, though this plant isn't in shade, to be honest, not under a tree. It does get a good deal of sun. Also, in my dad's yard in Florida (where I am now) I notice that the crepe myrtles with shade are really reaching for the heavens, extremely leggy, while this plant is healthily compact.

Could the dry summer conditions be a problem, dry air I mean? ?????

Thanks for the input.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 12:22PM
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Well, we finally got a centimeter of rain and the temperature dropped into the sixties, to my husband's enormous belief, and THE CREPE MYRTLE HAS BURST INTO BLOOM.

I don't know if the rain triggered it (though it has been watered adequately for health) or whether August is just its regular flowering time in Italy--it doesn't get hot here until May, and perhaps a prolonged spell of heat is needed to bring on the flowering? In any case, all is well.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 12:09PM
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planted 5 crepe mryles 3 years ago .I live in mobile , al. 2 bloomed for the 1st time last year but 3 have never bloomed. All look very healthy. all are in sun with some shade late in the day. all my neighbors crepes are blooming. need help

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 10:37PM
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