Friday, March 7, 2014

Crepe Myrtles

I must admit I've delayed writing about this until I was convinced in my own mind how to spell crepe myrtle. I saw it spelled 'crape' somewhere and this unsettled me, thinking I'd been spelling it wrong my whole life. Then I saw it spelled both ways so I felt better.

I have a dream that one day our driveway will be lined with them. It's a long term dream.

Around Christmas time we had a visit from one of my cousins and he showed me how to make cuttings from an existing tree we have. I think it has light pink blossoms. I've always had a love for crepe myrtles because my grandfather and my uncles had a nursery business in East Texas selling crepe myrtle cuttings. I wish they were around so I could learn more about their process.

Here's what I've learned and done so far. Cuttings are made in the winter after the leaves have fallen. Cut off a branch of new growth from the previous year. (This is found at the end of a branch.) Trim off the little branches and cut sections from the branch that are about 1/2 inch in diameter into 6 inch sticks. I made 50. Bundle these sticks together and plant them in the ground somewhere for the winter. Make sure they are planted root side into the ground.

After the last frost (still waiting), replant each stick into the ground, giving space between each one. Water them and wait. After a year or two they will root and sprout and can be dug up and planted where you want them.

Our crepe myrtle is growing alongside an oak tree.

It has been neglected over the years so it has several trunks.

I cut off lower branches that I could reach.

I bundled five together and tied twine around them.

I planted them with about two inches exposed. I put a section of old fencing over them to deter the goats from nibbling.


  1. Goats love crepe myrtles, so if they leaf out, you'll really need to watch the goats.

    1. Thanks. We'll watch them. The goats are cheeky.

  2. I'm excited to see how this works out for you! I never really cared for crepe myrtles until I saw some here in BC that have been so well cultivated that they've grown into large trees. We have a sad one that's growing in and around our chain fence.

    1. Well, it's a long term project for me. The next step is putting all 50 into small pots. Uugg. If they seem to grow then I'll do more.