How Much Super Phosphate for Crape Myrtles?

New Bern, NC(Zone 8a)

We have three crape myrtle trees - a Natchez (about 20 feet tall) and two Muskogees (about 15 feet tall). They bloom a little but not nearly as much as they should.

I purchased some Super Phosphate (not triple) - Hi-Yield brand. The directions just say "a light covering on ground six inches away from stems." Understanding that less is better but still hoping for more blooms this year, would anyone care to expand on that? A cup? Two cups?

Do you use it on anything else in your garden?

Thanks in advance,

(Zone 9a)

I would suggest you have your soil tested by your local extension office before applying anything. Your environment is certainly much different from here, where we have way too much naturally occurring phosphorous in our soils, but just to be on the safe side, I would check first. They could also tell you what else in your garden might benefit from a dose.

It has been my experience that once a crape myrtle is established they need little attention. They want sun and good drainage. The old trees you see around abandoned lots are always pretty. Could your trees be getting fertilizer from any nearby lawn grass? Too much nitrogen can cause CM's to bloom less.


New Bern, NC(Zone 8a)

Good thoughts, Ardesia. We'll do that. And they could be getting nitrogen from our grass fertilizer.

Johns Island, SC

Entlie, for what it's worth, I test my soil EVERY year before planting, and it's helped. Because I have "squirely" soil conditions. Excessivley high Potassium/phosphate. Nobody at Clempsin has been willing to share with me how to correct/offset the problem, but at least they identified it, and that's half the battle!

Emerald Isle, NC

Entie as you probably know crapes,bloom best on new wood.Icut the tops of my crapes about ten inches from the last years bloom and have an abundance of blooms,dont fertilizee them or water them and they even produce seedlings especcialy the acoma dwarf crape

New Bern, NC(Zone 8a)

Hoitider, good to know. Thanks.

Holly Ridge, NC(Zone 8a)

The only thing I cut from my muskogee is the last years blooms. I want my crapes to grow and look as natural as possible. The Wilmington area is getting much better at preventing " Crape Murder" through out the town. They have such a lovely natural shape that I cannot understand for the life of me why folks prune them back so hard....

(Zone 9a)

History! A bad practice that has been around too long. Eons ago they used to "pollard" trees.

When we first moved to SC in the 60's pollarding the CM's was traditional.

Vegas,NV Filbert, SC(Zone 7b)

Pollarding is still a bad habit that continues to be passed down on both Crepe Myrtles and Mulberry trees in the Southwest. I get the urge to hand out flyers of pruning guidelines during the late fall when I see untrained and uncertified gardeners murdering trees and shrubs.

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