Crepe Myrtle Bush Vs Tree: (Key Differences)

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Wondering what is the difference between Crepe Myrtle Bush Vs Tree? You’re on the right page. We’ve spoken to experts to help you figure out the right way to answer this. We will also discuss propagation, pruning, and care for Crepe Myrtle Bush.

Crepe Myrtle Bush Vs Tree: Differences?

It is possible to grow crepe myrtle in two ways: a tree or a bush. The primary difference is its size. The tree is less than 11 feet high and could grow to 20 to 30 feet when it reaches maturity. The crepe myrtle bush and tree form do not make a significant difference. However, the frequency of use and the tools employed can differ. If using the appropriate tools, cut them at the proper intervals to eliminate the dead or damaged parts. 

Another crucial aspect is the number of trunks or stems. Multi-stemmed trees expand from their base, while a single trunk remains in a good place before branching out.

To ensure your crepe myrtle bush grows appropriately, you should water it regularly. The roots of crepe myrtles should receive two to three gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter. Watering is essential during the first growing season, and it’s best to water it once a month after planting.

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What is crepe myrtle?

Crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia spp. ), Also known as crape myrtle, is a deciduous plant and tree with more than 50 species. Some varieties are semi-deciduous and evergreen.

While it was initially found in Asia, Australia, and Oceania, it is widespread throughout South America. Hence, people refer to it as”the “Lilac of the South”. Whatever the type, it is a trendy choice for commercial and residential zones due to the bold style they offer.

How to Care For Crepe Myrtle?

Remember these guidelines when taking care of the crepe myrtle plant, with a moderate rate of growth that can reach 3 feet per year. Additionally, they have only a few requirements since they flourish in humid climates.

  • Planting Season: Fall and Spring
  • Time to ripen: 5 to 10 years
  • Life expectancy: over 50 years
  • Soil conditions:well-drained; flexible pH clay, sand, or loam
  • The light exposure: Full sunlight and shade
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 to 9

How to Identify Crepe Myrtle?

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Enjoy the beautiful flowers it has in red, white or pink. They are arranged in clusters of branches and bloom in the summer months and the fall. The wrinkled petals are similar to crepe papers.

Alongside the stunning flowers, the most notable characteristics include the vase’s inverted shape and the grayish-brown bark.

The leaves of the green variety feature an alternate pattern as well as an oval-shaped shape. They also change color to orange, red, and yellow in autumn. If it splits, it is possible to see the red border.

How to Prune Myrtles (Without Totally Destroying Them)

The truth is that most people aren’t aware of how to cut their trees, which results in sad-looking trees properly. People who love plants cannot help but be disgusted by this deplorable horticultural slaying. It’s time to take action!

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The timing and the technique are essential in pruning this flowering machinery. We’ve covered every aspect of pruning so that you can cut it to the ideal size without turning it into an unnatural stump. (Seriously, We’ve seen many stumps that are stunted, which is a complete sham!)

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Myrtles are a common plant in the landscape of the South and are renowned for their beautiful and cloth-like flowers that are each more striking and lush than Ariana Grande’s gown for the Grammys. This article will provide all the information you require on how to trim myrtles in Houston to ensure that your trees will be the center of attention and appear elegant all year round.

See Also: How to Prune Curry Leaf Plant (Full Guide)

Prune Crape Myrtles at the Perfect Time

If you’re just beginning to trim trees and shrubs, It is crucial to figure out the category that your plants are in, ones that thrive on fresh wood and those that thrive with old timber. For example, crape myrtles bloom on fresh wood, meaning they come into life when temperatures rise and bloom later in the summer when they expand their branches.

Many other plants in your garden can thrive on decaying wood and must be cut back in autumn to get them tidy before their blooming in the early spring. It’s best to avoid cutting your myrtles until a couple of months after because the branches are left over to provide a layer of protection on cool, windy nights.

In the springtime, it is possible to trim the thickest, longest branches and then thin them out to allow room for new growth. This will also ensure an even form. The tree can appear somewhat ragged if left unattended and will not develop as quickly. The new growth will come by itself from the new cut-offs If you trim it back in the proper place, you’ll allow the growth of more blooms to emerge.

Do not go overboard when trimming myrtles

Although crepe myrtles are famous for their impressive new growth following spring trimming, many people overdo it and trim their trees to stumps. This is undoubtedly more damaging than leaving the tree in its natural state as you’ll have small, weak growth, and you won’t be able to appreciate the stunning streaks of bark that form with time. This is why it is crucial to find the perfect balance and cut it to the ideal amount.

The only time to reduce the size of your myrtle is when it has the appearance of a stem that is out of place and stands out awkwardly. If some leaders leave after taking it down, it will appear more balanced and continue to grow well. If this is the case, trim the stems as near ground level as possible.

If you’d like to preserve the form of the tree in your crape myrtle but do not want it to appear too crowded, prune the branches that grow lower than your main stems. This will leave plenty of space underneath all the branches. Myrtles mature and look their best when branches do not start until 6-8 feet above the ground.

When to Prune Crape Myrtles

For average branch lengthening and general cleaning, It’s best to trim some of the sides, and top as well as thin the tree and take out smaller branches near the base. A little extra space between the branches can promote air circulation and keep fungi such as powdery mildew from forming. Additionally, it allows new plants to grow to ensure that things don’t become excessively crowded. Branch branches that cross should be cut; this extra friction could cause serious harm, which anyone who’s experienced the chafing of the thighs can relate to.

When cutting the crape myrtle branches, Find buds that are pointed in the direction you would like your branch to grow and cut the branch at the top. Any stems or suckers that are not wanted and extend outwards must be cut in the middle. Cutting off the top of trunks is unnecessary; even a little trimming will assist. Spindly, weak branches that won’t be able to support much new growth aren’t enough. Therefore, you could take them off too.

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Best Tools for Pruning Crape Myrtle

The length of the branches you’ll have to trim can vary significantly for a tree with multiple trunks like the myrtle crape. Here are the essential tools that can help you with the annual tree overhaul:

  • Sharp tooth saw: It is recommended when dealing with stems and branches more than 2 1/2 inches in thickness. The big teeth are more efficient in cutting through a thick wood, but it’s not as easy to prevent damaging the growth around it.
  • Fine tooth saw: It is ideal for cutting branches as large as 2 1/2 inches in thickness. Find one with an angled blade, as many find it the easiest to operate.
  • Shears for pruning: It is common to find pruning shears with long handles that give you an additional foot and a half reach. This is beneficial for trimming large trees. They can cut branches as thick as 1 3/4 inches in thickness. Additionally, wearing headgear if doing overhead pruning using these guys is recommended. (It’s challenging to stay in the path of fallen branches when cutting them on you!)
  • Pole Pruning: This nifty tool typically comes with an axe with a pruning shear blade on the top. It comes with a more extended handle to reach those difficult-to-reach places. Some models reaching twelve feet.
  • Hand Pruning tool: This essential tool is ideal for cutting small stems and branches. Ensure you clean the blades after cutting if working with a plant with disease or pest symptoms.

There’s no reason to become American Psycho this spring with your myrtle crepes. Don’t reduce your branches dramatically; instead, you should thin them out and trim those areas where the wood is weaker and less mature. The result will be a delighted and healthy tree with healthy, steady growth and an impressive arrangement of flowers. This is the reason for having one, isn’t it?

How do you lay out Crepe Myrtle?

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Crape myrtle and other trees can change your property’s landscape in various ways. But, first, you need to remember that the best size for smaller trees is between 3 and 4 feet. More giant trees ought to be at a minimum of 10 feet.

  • Unconstrained in the courtyard
  • In a row for the perimeter on the plot.
  • Street tree, or along a wall or path
  • shown in containers
  • The concentration of trees
  • Pollarded

What plants are compatible with crepe myrtles?

Think about these flowers and vines as companion plants to crepe myrtles.

  • African Iris
  • Flax Lily (dwarf and variegated)
  • Hibiscus
  • Indian hawthorn
  • Jasmine (rose as well as star)
  • Lantana
  • Mexican margarita
  • Pink trumpet tree
  • Sea mallow
  • Sweet olive
  • Violet trumpet
  • White bush rose

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What are the benefits of crepe myrtles?

The leaves, roots, flowers, and bark of Crepe myrtle can be helpful. Apart from the shade and cosmetic benefits, We have other uses for this plant.

  • astringent mouthwash
  • Essential oil
  • Pollination
  • As a spice
  • Textile dye
  • Wood (furniture)
  • Traditional medical practices (skin problems and cuts)


I hope you are now aware of the differences between Crepe Myrtle Bush Vs Tree. Pruning crepe myrtle can be a straightforward procedure, regardless of whether it’s a plant or a tree. Do it safely. It’s only about a minute of your time every year. In addition, it’s an effective way to maintain your fitness and prevent long-term issues.

Additionally, this tree also serves several purposes in your everyday life. So, choose the most suitable cultivar that fits your area and preference when you decide to enhance your landscaping. Thank you for taking the time to read! 

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