Landscaping is an imperative part of your home's curb appeal and value, but choosing from the various shrubs, flowers, and trees can be overwhelming. Fortunately, planting the right trees around your yard can add color, shade, style, and value to your home. If you are a homeowner searching for the right trees to landscape your home's exterior, consider the cool, crisp, and colorful style of a crepe myrtle. Using this guide, you will understand the benefits of the crepe myrtle plus learn the best options for planting and maintaining your new tree.
Benefits of the Crepe Myrtle
A lush, green lawn may be a priority when it comes to your landscaping, but you should also incorporate other colors into your landscape for curb appeal and style. Thankfully, many varieties of crepe myrtles are available, so finding a color suited to your personality and exterior décor is simple. Here are a few colors to enjoy while your new tree blooms:
The colorful blooms of a crepe myrtle are the most appealing benefit of the tree, but it can also provide a small amount of shade in areas around your yard. Consider installing one or more crepe myrtles around a sunny patio or deck. Or, surround your outdoor air conditioner unit with one or more of these trees.
The foliage will filter out the harmful rays of the sun, reducing heat and decreasing the amount of energy necessary to cool your home. While deciduous trees offer the most shade and energy efficiency, the colorful blooms of a crepe myrtle can add partial shade to your home's exterior.
The spring and fall seasons are the best times to plant your crepe myrtle. Since temperatures are cooler during these seasons, you will not need as much water after planting. However, make sure to plant the tree in an area of your yard that receives full sun.
Dig a hole that is a few sizes bigger than the root ball of your crepe myrtle to allow adequate space for growth. Surround the root ball with soil and add mulch around the tree base to trap in moisture.
After planting, soak the base of the tree and surrounding mulch with water. Continue watering once or twice a week. In the heated months of summer, water your crepe myrtle daily.
Pruning your Tree
Your crepe myrtle will offer beautiful blooms in the spring, summer, and early parts of fall. However, the blooms, greenery, and limbs will die off in the winter season, so pruning will be necessary. To ensure your blooms are lush and colorful in the spring and summer, use the following tips when pruning:
- Prune Late Winter Only – Many owners prune their crepe myrtles excessively, which prevents full blooms. Be sure to prune off dead greenery and limbs in the last few weeks of winter only. February is an ideal time to prune.
- Size Does Matter – Do not make numerous, haphazard, or large cuts from the tree. For the best shape, cut a few dead limbs from the bottom of the tree. Hold your pruning shears at an angle to create angled cuts. Taking off an excessive amount will not allow the crepe myrtle to bloom in its classic shape.
The bark of your crepe myrtle can be rather appealing to certain pests due to its sweet aroma. Unfortunately, aphids are common pests that can wreak havoc on your tree without proper prevention.
Once aphids are attracted to the crepe myrtle bark, they begin excreting honeydew, which builds up on the tree's blooms and stems. Over time, this honeydew can grow into mold, affecting the tree's growth and possibly killing the tree.
If you believe you have an infestation of aphids, a complete tree removal will be necessary. However, to prevent an infestation, treat your crepe myrtle with a specialized insecticide. Apply it directly to the soil surrounding your tree. Insecticides will mask the flavorful smell of your crepe myrtle, preventing possible infestations.
Landscaping adds value and appeal to your home, so it can be a smart investment. Using these tips, you can perfect your landscaping with the cool, crispy, and colorful look of the crepe myrtle tree. For more information or additional landscaping tips, contact a professional service, such as Todd's Tree Service Inc.Share