Trimming Crape Myrtles
Q: When do I need to trim my crape myrtles? I see a lot of them being trimmed now and some are taking a lot off and others not so much. How much do I trim and when?
A: Now is a good time to do cosmetic trimming to shape up the plant and remove damaged limbs or those growing in inconvenient places. For example, if a branch is in the way when you mow, or if it taps on the window or rain gutter in a gentle breeze, consider removing it. “Suckers” growing from the ground may be removed at any time. But here’s a crucial point: crape myrtle experts advise never “topping” one of these hardy, beautiful Texas native plants. Giving it a flattop or crew cut is likely to yield disappointing results. If your crape myrtle is located where you have no choice but to top it, consider moving the plant instead. On the other hand, if you really must top the plant, it will probably not kill your crape myrtle – but you might not be happy with its appearance.