April 14, 2008

Calloway's Timely Tips for May Gardeners

Calloway’s Timely Tip for May Gardeners

Crape Myrtles are one of the most popular summer flowering shrubs. They provide abundant summer blooms and vivid fall foliage while requiring minimum maintenance. Bloom colors range from red and pink to lavender and white.

Crape Myrtles range in height from 3 feet to more than 20 feet tall. They do best planted in full sun. Prepare the soil with organic material such as Calloway’s Landscape Mix and dig the hole just as deep as the container and twice as wide. Water well after planting and apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch to the surface.

Hand water at least once a week for the first year. Fertilize in early spring with a high nitrogen, lawn-type fertilizer to stimulate healthy, early season growth. Later in early summer, switch to a flower promoting fertilizer such as Calloway’s Professional Crape Myrtle Food.

Prune Crape Myrtles to remove only the seed heads or any branches that rub together. Do not “top” them as it will destroy their natural shape and beauty. Know the space requirements before planting, you do not want to try to control the size of a Crape Myrtle by pruning.

There is no such thing as a perfect plant and the Crape Myrtle is no exception. Crapes are susceptible to powdery mildew and to aphids, which will lead to sooty mold. We carry both organic and synthetic solutions; choose whichever program best suits your needs.

Increase the value of your landscape and plant a Crape Myrtle. You will enjoy its beauty year round!