One of the trees we can proudly show off in the Rio Grande Valley is the famous purple, pink, red and white crepe myrtle that adorns homes and businesses everywhere. These lovely trees can be spotted in the region and throughout the state, and are the envy of many national gardeners as they thrive off of the warmth of the area. Here are a few tips for proper maintenance.
Plant for Success
Late fall to early spring is the best time to plant. First, learn some information about the lifespan and growth of your tree. Crepe myrtles range in size from dwarf selections (less than three feet tall) to some that can reach as tall as 30 feet. It’s important to know which tree you are buying to provide the proper maintenance and area for growth. These trees thrive off of sunlight, so chose a space with plenty of sunshine and occasional shade.
Life’s a Garden, DIG IT
Begin the planting process by digging a hole about three times the width of the root area. This will be about a three-foot radius from the root. Place the already watered plant into the hole. Make sure the root ball is even with surrounding soil and then slowly remove the pot.
Caring for Your Crepe
Fill in around the roots with excavated soil and use your foot to firmly press down. Spread mulch about two inches deep over the top of the root and soil. These trees require plenty of water, so water yours thoroughly using a hose (not a sprinkler) for direct absorption each day.
Avoid Pruning Problems
Make sure to prune during late winter to ensure that summer blooming will occur naturally. Light pruning is suggested for new trees. Remove basal shoots, which are buds that grow at the base of the tree. Also remove twigs, intertwining branches and branches growing inward toward the center of the plant.
Next, cut away side branches along the bottom four to five feet of the tree to expose the trunk. Lastly, snip off dead or dying flowers throughout the growing season to encourage a second blooming.
What to Watch Out For
Aphids are sugary excretions on the tree that can form a sooty mold that covers the leaves, making them appear black and unattractive. A bad infestation will eventually turn leaves yellow and will prevent blooming in the upcoming season. You can control this by spraying with insecticides that target aphids as soon as they appear, spraying both sides of the foliage evenly.
Caring for Your Commercial Lawn
Taking care of a commercial lawn can be tough for a business owner. The landscaping professionals at TLC Total Lawn Care can take care of the dirty work so you won’t have to. Feel free to get in touch with us for your free quote or call 800.796.8087.