Crepe myrtles can add color and beauty to any landscape. However, they may have difficulty blooming in the soil if it doesn't contain the right nutrients—which is where fertilizers come in handy. But what fertilizers are best for these trees? We've researched the best ones for crepe myrtles to provide you with an answer.
Here are a few of the best fertilizers for crepe myrtles:
- Carl Pool's Crepe Myrtle Plant Food
- Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food
- Nelson Crape Myrtle Food NutriStar
- Dr. Earth FlowerGirl 101 Bud & Bloom Booster
- Osmocote 277960 Smart Release Food
If you want your crepe myrtle trees to have the best blooms, they should be fertilized with a high-phosphorus fertilizer in the early part of the season. Continue reading to learn more about brands you can use for your crepe myrtle.
5 Best Fertilizers For Crepe Myrtles
1. Carl Pool's Crepe Myrtle Plant Food
Carl Pool's Crepe Myrtle Plant Food is scientifically designed to promote plant growth. It's formulated to support healthy growth and assist with maintaining the health of your myrtles.
This fertilizer contains a well-balanced mix of micronutrients. Your crepe myrtles will receive the vitamins slowly but steadily, which makes for much better absorption.
This fertilizer contains extremely high levels of phosphoric acids which reduces the soil's pH and makes it fairly acidic, making it perfect for myrtle trees.
The acid promotes flowering and provides wonderful results for all flowering trees. This acid also encourages plants to bloom more often which leads to more vibrant and larger flowers.
Carl Pool's plant foods contain the five most essential micronutrients needed for optimal flowering and growth. This particular fertilizer is recommended for crepe myrtles and older trees that may have difficulty blooming to their fullest potential.
Mix one tablespoon of solution with a gallon of water and apply it to the soil near the base of the tree. Apply the solution in early spring.
2. Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food
Miracle-Gro is one of the most popular fertilizer brands. It offers many varieties of plant food to suit all types of plants and trees. Although this fertilizer is easy to use, it takes more time to apply because it must be used more often.
This Miracle-Gro fertilizer contains every bit of nutrition your crepe myrtles need throughout the year. It's a gentle formula that's unlikely to cause damage to your plant's roots or leaves—provided it's used according to the recommendations.
This all-purpose food is highly soluble in water and super high in nitrogen and should be applied about once every two weeks. You can apply it with either a garden feeder or a watering container depending on what you have available.
Make sure not to use more than one tablespoon of fertilizer per gallon. To apply, mix this solution with water and pour it into your feeder. You can also use a watering can.
3. Nelson Crape Myrtle Food NutriStar
This formula contains a unique blend of nutrients suitable for all kinds of flowers and vegetables, not just myrtles. It's made by farmers and is a low-salt, slow-release plant food. It's also used as a commercial horticultural fertilizer because of its steady release rate and numerous nutrient sources.
The fertilizer includes nitrogen, potash, and phosphate. It also contains many minerals such as manganese, zinc, nitrogen, iron, and copper—and these are just a few of the many vitamins and minerals found in most Nelson plant foods. The mixture helps to promote strong stems and branches, improved plant health, and blooming.
The slow-release fertilizer can nourish soil within just a few minutes of application. It also continues to nourish the soil for up to four more months.
Nelson food should be applied to your myrtles in the spring before they bloom. And to get the best results, consider applying the formula every couple of months. Apply anywhere from 1-4 cups (depending on tree height) of the fertilizer around the tree's trunk and then water the area.
4. Dr. Earth Flower Girl 101 Bud & Bloom Booster
Dr. Earth has over 20 years of experience in the garden marketplace and is one of the most respected brands in the industry. This all-natural fertilizer is organic and one of the biggest sellers both online and offline.
Not only does it produce amazing results but it includes minerals and vitamins that can be found naturally in plants and fish. It releases nutrients quickly into soil, and one application can last several months.
This formula is perfect for your myrtles as well as fruit trees, other evergreens, and small indoor plants. It's also safe for pets, as it doesn't contain any synthetic elements, chicken manure, or other toxic ingredients.
The nutritionally balanced organic formula can enrich your trees' soil over time, making them healthy and stable. Healthy soil will always be needed to ensure that you have the best quality vegetables, fruits, trees, flowers, and other plants for your garden.
And if you're using it for your crepe myrtles exclusively, you'll find that a little bit goes a long way. To apply it, mix this liquid fertilizer with water (makes 12 gallons) and apply it to your plants' soil.
5. Osmocote 277960 Smart Release Food
Osmocote Smart Release can be used on both vegetables and flowering plants. Because it contains a mixture of balanced nutrients, it promotes root development and vigorous top growth. These nutrients also promote healthy growth and larger, more colorful blooms.
This fertilizer's formula is gentle enough not to burn the roots and leaves of your crepe myrtle. The formula's water-soluble coating makes it easy to apply, and the nutrients in the fertilizer are released into the soil when the temperature rises.
Osmocote can be applied by adding 2-3 tablespoons to 4 square feet of soil. It can be used for as long as four months because of its slow-release formula.
This makes it easy to fertilize your myrtles without spending too much time on the task. This innovative smart-release plant food will give you beautiful blooming flowers and healthy leaves. Apply 1-2 scoops of pellets directly to the soil and then water the area for fertilization.
Important Minerals for Crepe Myrtle Fertilizers
Crepe myrtles thrive best when you use a fertilizer formula that is specifically designed for them. However, they can also grow wonderfully with the use of an all-purpose fertilizer such as 10-10-10 and 8-8-8 formulas.
Remember that these trees require adequate sunlight, good pH, high levels of nitrogen, and proper fertilization to ensure stable and steady growth.
Crepe myrtles trees are very easy to maintain, but they cannot live without nitrogen. To produce the most flowers, they need high-quality nitrogen. You can find this in most all-purpose fertilizers such as those listed above or those specifically designed for these trees.
However, you can also use 16-4-8 or 12-4-8 formulas as well. Note that these fertilizers work best if you aren't applying them regularly (large amounts may be too strong for the trees).
Slightly Acidic pH
The soil in which your myrtles are planted will have a significant impact on their health. Before you plant your trees or apply fertilizer, make sure to do a soil pH analysis. Note that crepe myrtles thrive on slightly acidic soils, which can range from 5.4 to 6.6 on the pH scale.
Consider buying fertilizer that has a higher acidic content if the soil pH is considerably lower than this range. And you can also maintain soil acidity with compost mulch or organic compost (though it may be more expensive).
You can also add a bit of pelletized limestone to your soil as well as apply aluminum sulfate or soil sulfur.
Should crepe myrtles be fertilized?
Yes, most gardeners will tell you that it's best to fertilize your crepe myrtle trees to get the maximum blooms each season. However, the amount and frequency at which you apply the fertilizer will vary depending on your preference.
It's best to use an all-purpose fertilizer for the trees and apply it to the trees at the beginning of spring, right before you see leaves forming.
If your crepe myrtle is young, apply only a small amount of fertilizer monthly during its first year. This will help the roots grow strong and spread properly so that the plant can become well established.
It's best to discontinue fertilization during the later part of the fall season, and it isn't needed in the winter since the trees are dormant during this time.
How can I make my crepe myrtle bloom more?
One of the best ways to get a second bloom cycle out of your crepe myrtle trees is to prune the old bloom head after they've bloomed but right before they become seeds. After you cut off the heads, you will notice a small cluster of flowers emerging within 3-7 days.
Be sure not to trim the tree back more than 15% to 20%, as too much pruning can damage the tree. You'll also want to ensure that the tree is in the best state of health all year round, and applying a quality fertilizer can help with this.
What is a Triple 8 fertilizer used for?
Triple 8 is formulated to help balance the ratio of carbon to nitrogen in plants and trees. This balance allows the plants to absorb and utilize the nitrogen more effectively, which is essential for rapid growth and stress reduction.
It contains several essential acids and trace minerals that help plants absorb micronutrients—nitrogen being the main one.
Wrapping things up
We hope this post has helped give you an idea of the best fertilizers to use for your crepe myrtle trees. Remember that these trees are fairly easy to maintain, but the addition of a quality fertilizer can help to ensure full and vibrant blooms once or twice a year.
Before you go, be sure to check out these other posts: