When do crepe myrtles bloom?

slyefox1(6)August 8, 2012

We bought a crepe myrtle from a nursery two springs ago but it still has not bloomed. Last year we just presumed it was due transplant shock, even though it was very healthy and grew lots of big green leaves and branches. This year it is again very green and healthy but it is now August and there is no sign of any bud formation. We have not pruned it, it gets lots ans lots of sun, and it has it's own drip line on our irrigation system. Should we see signs of bud formation by August?

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subtropix

Absolutely, should be blooming by now. I have had NO problems with them in zones 6b or 7a. My dynamites went into the ground from a small pot last Mid spring. This is my $6.98 investment after one year of neglect. It has got to be related to either sun, moisture, or soil conditions. Can't think of anything else.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 5:17PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Have you been fertilizing your crApe myrtle, by chance? How big is your tree? Any chances of pics? And, what's the deal with this drip irrigation system??

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 7:26PM
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slyefox1(6)

No, we have not applied any fertilizer. The tree is about 15' tall, but still a young tree, so it is not very full in size yet. We have all of our trees and shrubs and flowers (40+ hydrangeas, 40 roses, 10 cryptos, 45 strawberry plants, big lawn, and a bunch of other things) all on a series of timed drip lines separated by zone so that each type of plant/tree gets the amount of watering it needs (ex: hydrangeas get 45 mins of drip 5 days a week in afternoon b/c they are water hogs, but roses only get 30 mins 1 day a week in morning to cut down on black spot). And the irrigation system has a rain sensor so it won't cut on for rainy days. This crepe myrtle gets 2 days a week for 30 mins while it has been so hot up here in NY.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:24AM
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aquilachrysaetos

Here in California, it's the hot weather that makes them bloom. Mine fire up when it hits the mid to upper 90s. They look superb when it's 100.

My dad lives in a coastal town where the hottest it gets is in the 80s. I've seen one Crape Myrtle there. It's a good sized tree with a six inch trunk. While it looks healthy, I've never seen it bloom.

Could it be that you have not had enough hot days together?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 11:48AM
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slyefox1(6)

No, we have not applied any fertilizer. The tree is about 15' tall, but still a young tree, so it is not very full in size yet. We have all of our trees and shrubs and flowers (40+ hydrangeas, 40 roses, 10 cryptos, 45 strawberry plants, big lawn, and a bunch of other things) all on a series of timed drip lines separated by zone so that each type of plant/tree gets the amount of watering it needs (ex: hydrangeas get 45 mins of drip 5 days a week in afternoon b/c they are water hogs, but roses only get 30 mins 1 day a week in morning to cut down on black spot). And the irrigation system has a rain sensor so it won't cut on for rainy days. This crepe myrtle gets 2 days a week for 30 mins while it has been so hot up here in NY.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 5:57PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Fertilizer: Maybe you were including the lawn, around your crApe myrtle, when you discussed not fertilizing, but, I wonder if by chance you have been fertilizing the crape indirectly (by fertilizing the yard).

15' tall tree, two years in the ground: I agree with you that expecting the tree to bloom by now is reasonable (especially with this type of tree), but maybe it still just needs more time. It's common for newly planted trees to take a few years, while becoming established, to bloom. I think it's possible that your tree may just need another year to get settled in.

Irrigation: You are there and I'm not, but you may be watering too frequently (especially the crApe myrtle) unless you have very good drainage. In my soil, 2 days a week for 30 minutes would be a little much. I don't really think this is your problem with lack of blooms though, AND you are in a much better position to judge real water needs at your site than I am, since you are there (I'm just throwing out the idea).

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 7:32PM
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gardenapprentice

Here in Chattanooga, I had a crape that I planted 4 years ago.It was a Red rocket.Firstyear I water it 1 timea week. Next year,I didnt touch it. This year its been 90's and 100's still havent touched. Its starting to form those seed podsalready. The thing is they only need about 1 year of 100% attention then after that you can just prune off the dead seed pods and broken limbs. They love the hottest weather and don't need but an inch of water a, usually way less. Thats why in the deep south you see lots of crapes in full sun in parking lots. Next year dont fertilizeor anything wait until July and if no buds form (typical bud formation time in the north) ask an expert or local arborist. Trust me the first year they sleep, next they creep, and then after that they leap and reach theyre full height. If you have an extremely hot summer they reward you with smokin' blooms.
the picture above is the picture of my crape myrtle, didnt get much growth the first two years but it did get lots of blooms

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 2:34PM
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