Looking for advice on pruning my Crapes. For years I have not pruned other than removing crossing limbs and limbs that interfered with other trees and structures. I've noticed a reduction in bloom production, so I have been perusing my gardening books, and am confused. I read everything from "don't prune" to "remove about a third, because new blooms only grow on new growth." I WILL NOT behead them as I have seen others do. I would appreciate any information.
Crape (Crepe) Myrtles
Hello Ksathelo, it looks to me like you are doing the right thing with you Crepe Myrtles.
I suppose that as they grow taller and more tree like, the blooms might not be as abundant, or as visible, since they will be up high, but the shape of your trees is important.
If you want to keep them as shrubs, they can be cut down almost to the ground every few years, and they will regrow and give you more blooms.
It would take a lot of courage to do that, but I know people who have done it.
Are you feeding them some good compost each year? Soil health will produce healthy plants and blooms. For what it's worth, we never trim our Crepes and last year they didn't seem to be as many blooms as in past years. Maybe it was weather related??
I do absolutely nothing to my Crepes, once they are established, they bloom every year, but some years are better then others.