by Jennifer Poindexter
Do you love crepe myrtles? Would you like to have more of them growing around your home, but you don’t want to break the bank in the process?
You’re in luck. Many times, you can propagate plants from their mature counterparts. This allows you to create more of the same plant without spending any extra money.
If you’re interested in propagating crepe myrtles, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to share with you how you can propagate this plant from the cutting of another mature crepe myrtle.
Here’s everything you need to know to grow more crepe myrtles around your home via propagation.
Growing Conditions for Crepe Myrtles
Before you consider propagating crepe myrtle, you must ensure you have the right growing conditions for this plant.
If you already have a mature crepe myrtle growing around your property this might be old news. However, if you received a cutting from a friend, it’s important you know this.
Crepe myrtles are hardy in planting zones six through ten. In zone six, the plant might die back to the ground each year.
However, it should return once winter is over. Crepe myrtles need full sunlight. This equates to around six hours of sunlight per day or more.
Once the plants are established, they can handle periods of drought but do ensure you plant them in well-draining soil and water them regularly to help strong root systems form.
Locate the right spot around your home to grow crepe myrtle to ensure everything is ready for this plant once it starts growing.
How to Propagate a Crepe Myrtle from a Cutting
Propagating crepe myrtle is a simple process that’s also cost effective. Before you begin propagation check the variety of crepe myrtle you’ve chosen.
Ensure this variety isn’t patented as it’s illegal to propagate the plant if it is. Most patents last for twenty years.
Once you know the plant is legal to propagate, remove a cutting from the new growth of the plant. This cutting should be approximately six inches long, have three to four nodes on it, and a few leaves should be on it as well.
The cutting should come from a portion of the plant which diverges from the main branch of the crepe myrtle.
A good time to remove such a cutting is from June through August. When you have it, place the piece of the tree into a well-draining container and a growing medium that drains adequately as well.
Sand is a good option for a growing medium when propagating plants. Place the container in a shaded location and ensure the growing medium remains moist.
You can do this by spraying the soil or sand with a spray bottle regularly. This will keep things damp without oversaturating the cutting.
It’s also wise to cover the container in either plastic wrap or a plastic bag. This causes a greenhouse effect to take place and helps the cutting retain moisture.
The cutting should form roots in one to two months.
Another option for propagating crepe myrtles from cuttings is to grow them in a rooting bed. This is handy if you’d like to propagate multiple plants in one neat location.
Fill the rooting beds with well-draining soil. Then plant each of the cuttings one foot deep in the bed. Some gardeners prefer to dip the cuttings in rooting hormone prior to planting. When propagating crepe myrtle it isn’t necessary, but you can include this step if you wish.
Be sure to mulch around the cuttings. This will help retain moisture in the bed. It’s important to keep the cuttings watered adequately as well.
Once the plants have formed roots, they’re ready to transplant during their dormant period. This is during the fall or winter months.
These are a few methods to grow crepe myrtles from a cutting. Hopefully this will help you grow more of these plants around your home without going over your budget.
Planting a Crepe Myrtle
There are a few more things I should cover before you start the journey of growing crepe myrtles from cuttings.
One thing is to ensure you know what to do with the crepe myrtle once the cutting has formed roots. Ensure you find a planting location with all the specifications mentioned above.
From there, dig a hole four times the width of the base of the plant. Don’t dig the hole any deeper than the container (or bed) the crepe myrtle was growing in.
Spread out the roots of the plant and place it in the hole. Cover the base of the plant with soil, and press firmly to ensure no air can reach the roots.
From there, mulch around the crepe myrtle and ensure you water the plant deeply. This will help it develop stronger roots and will also reduce the amount of work you must do on your part.
Now that you know how to plant the crepe myrtle you propagated, you’re almost ready to put your hands in the dirt and put this information into practice.
Garden Pests and Diseases Which Might Threaten Crepe Myrtle
The main threats to crepe myrtle plants are Japanese beetles, aphids, powdery mildew, and leaf spot. If you notice signs of pests on your plants, it’s wise to treat them immediately.
Aphids and Japanese beetles can be treated with an insecticide. It’s also wise to spray your plants forcefully with soapy water to remove the pests and any sticky residue they may leave behind.
Powdery mildew and leaf spot are fungal issues. They can both be treated with a fungicide, and it’s best to remove infected leaves from the plant.
However, you can also avoid these diseases by ensuring they’re planted in well-draining soil, with adequate space around them, and are in full sun.
The well-draining soil and full sun ensures that the crepe myrtles are never left standing in saturated, cold soil.
Adequate space between plants will allow room for air to flow around them and dry the foliage after watering. All of this can help avoid fungal disease around your crepe myrtles.
You now know how to propagate crepe myrtles from a cutting using two different methods. Plus, you should have an idea of what growing conditions are needed and how to care and protect these plants once they’re growing.
Propagation is a great way to use what you have to create more. Hopefully these tips will help you create a gorgeous landscape while sticking to a budget.