When To Transplant Crepe Myrtle Trees And How To

Knowing when it's time to transplant your tree can be tricky sometimes. Do you have a crepe myrtle tree you want to move but don't know if now is the right time? Well, we've done some research and have the answer for you.

Ideally, you want to move crepe myrtle trees while they are dormant towards the end of winter. These trees do best when you transplant them just before their leaves return in the early spring, so try to move yours before the weather warms up.

As we begin, we will cover all things crepe myrtle and discuss when and how to transplant one. Whether you are new to this species or have a few trees growing in your garden, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!

A raspberry colored crepe myrtle tree in a residential neighborhood, When To Transplant Crepe Myrtle Trees And How To

What Time Of Year Do You Transplant Crepe Myrtles?

You want to transplant a crepe myrtle tree towards the end of winter, just before the weather warms up. Like we covered, crepe myrtle prefers to be moved while they are dormant, so avoid transplanting them once their leaves come in.

You have to wait until your tree's soil is workable, which might mean you transplant it closer to mid-spring. If that's the case, make sure your tree isn't starting to fill back out because moving it while it's active can kill it.

Purple crepe myrtle

Can You Transplant A Crepe Myrtle In The Summer?

For those wanting to transplant their crepe myrtle in the summertime, we suggest holding off. Especially if your myrtle is older, moving it while it's still actively growing can shock it and even kill it.

Even if you start to notice its leaves thinning out toward the fall, it's safer to wait until your tree is dormant to avoid harming it.

How Do You Transplant Crepe Myrtle?

If you want to transplant your crepe myrtle yourself, this shouldn't be too difficult. To begin, follow these steps:

  1. Find a new spot for your tree and dig a hole 50% wider than its current one.
  2. Carefully dig around your crepe myrtle's roots and remove them from the ground.
  3. Prune off any dead sections from your tree's root ball using sharp scissors/shears.
  4. Plant your crepe myrtle into its new location and fill its hole with fresh soil.
  5. Water your tree thoroughly, soaking the ground around it.
  6. Add mulch around the base of your tree, and you're ready to watch it grow!

How Often Should You Water A Transplanted Crepe Myrtle?

Once you transplant your crepe myrtle, it's essential to keep its soil moist. Ideally, you want to water it every two to three days, but not to the point water begins to pool near its base.

You want to water your newly transplanted tree thoroughly once per week if it's dormant and up to every other day if you plant it in sandy soil/during the summer. Of course, every tree is different, so try to feel or test your soil for too much moisture each time before watering.

Soil Moisture Meter

This soil tester reads your plant's pH and sunlight level, has a double-needle design, can go inside and outdoors, and doesn't require batteries.

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Can You Transplant A Mature Crepe Myrtle?

Crepe myrtles in full bloom

For those wanting to transplant their mature crepe myrtle, this is certainly doable. Although older trees tend to be more challenging to move and take longer to adjust to their new location, that doesn't mean transplanting them is impossible.

You want to make sure a mature crepe myrtle is completely dormant before transplanting because its roots will be more sensitive than a younger tree's. Older crepe myrtles might also go into a period of shock or die once transplanted, so unless it is necessary, you might want to keep your tree where it is.

Do Crepe Myrtles Transplant Well?

If you give your tree plenty of water and move it while it's dormant, a crepe myrtle should transplant well. Depending on how old a crepe myrtle is, moving it can be difficult, so it's best to do it while young.

That said, regardless of age, you want to make sure your tree's new hole is wide enough to support its root system and deep enough to fit its entire root ball.

Can You Grow Crepe Myrtle From A Cutting?

When it comes to growing crepe myrtle from a cutting, this is possible. To start, you want to take a semi-hardwood branch from your tree during its growing season and immediately plant it into lightweight potting soil.

You also want to dip the ends of your cuttings into a rooting hormone to encourage them to grow. Furthermore, try to keep your cuttings in a warm, bright location, ideally near a window or under a plant light.

Black Gold All Organic Potting Soil

This potting soil is organic, lightweight, premium quality, has perlite and pumice, and comes in an eight-ounce bag.

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Garden Safe TakeRoot Rooting Hormone

This rooting hormone works for most garden and greenhouse varieties. It has a powder formula and comes in a two-ounce container.

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Is Crepe Myrtle Easy To Grow?

Blossoming red crepe myrtle branch

Crepe myrtle is a relatively easy tree to grow, as long as it is in the right location. Generally, these trees grow best in USDA zones seven through nine, although some can easily live in zone six.

Crepe myrtle like full sun, well-draining soil, and do best when you water them often. These trees also do well in containers, making them an excellent choice for apartment gardening.

How Long Does Crepe Myrtle Live?

Generally, you can expect a crepe myrtle to live around 50 years if you take good care of it. Although their lifespans vary, crepe myrtles are relatively hardy and shouldn't experience many health problems as they age.

Crepe myrtle also tends to live longer the more sun it gets daily, so make sure you plant your tree somewhere with adequate exposure.

Do Crepe Myrtles Have Deep Roots?

Crepe myrtle roots won't be deep, but they can spread out horizontally quite a bit. Unlike a taproot system, crepe myrtles roots tend to be shallow and fibrous, which is why transplanting older trees can be difficult.

On top of that, a crepe myrtle's roots will also grow to about three times the size of their canopy, so it's best to give your tree plenty of space.

What Kind Of Fertilizer Do Crepe Myrtle Trees Need?

For fertilizer, you want to use an all-purpose, balanced 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 option for your tree. Granular formulas work the best for crepe myrtle, although using a liquid fertilizer is also okay.

Crepe myrtle's don't like to be over-fertilized, so whichever product you use shouldn't go into your tree's soil more than a few times per year. That said, it is a good idea to fertilize your tree just before its spring/summer growing season, especially if you recently transplanted it.

Southern Ag All Purpose Granular Fertilizer

This all-purpose fertilizer has a balanced 10-10-10 formula, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, is granular, and comes in a five-pound bag.

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When Do Crepe Myrtles Leaf Out In Zone 7?

The white flowers of crape myrtle tree in the park

Expect it to leaf out between March and April for those growing their crepe myrtle in USDA zone seven. Although having more moderate winter temperatures, zone seven can still get pretty cold, which will extend a crepe myrtles dormancy.

That said, if your winter weather stays moderate and doesn't drop below freezing, your crepe myrtle might start to grow back in late February, so every tree is different.

Do Crepe Myrtle Trees Do Well In Cold Climates?

Although a crepe myrtle can tolerate colder weather, it won't do well in regularly freezing temperatures. As mentioned earlier, crepe myrtle trees grow best in zones seven and above, meaning they don't like super cold climates.

That said, you should plant a crepe myrtle somewhere with moderate or above-average winter temperatures to avoid your tree becoming stunted or dying during its dormancy.

To Wrap Things Up

Whether you are new to crepe myrtle trees or have a few in your garden, it's essential to transplant them during the right season. From what we found, you should move crepe myrtle while they are dormant, usually towards the end of winter.

When it comes to transplanting, try to do this before any leaves grow back on your tree to avoid shocking or even killing it. Process-wise, make sure to keep your tree's roots intact during the move and prune off any dead sections you see. Regardless, make sure to give your crepe myrtle plenty of sunlight, and don't forget to water it thoroughly after transplanting it.

Before you go, check out these helpful garden posts below!

Why Is My Dragon Tree Dying? [With Tips On What To Do About It]

15 Foundation Plants For The Front Of Your House

How Big Is A Bonsai Tree? [By Type Of Tree]

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