Crape Myrtles: Understanding Their Peak Flowering Season

Crape myrtles, or crepe myrtles if you prefer, are greatly admired for their fabulous flowers. These beautiful shrubs and trees produce colorful flowers that are sometimes fragrant. This article will examine when the crape myrtle flowering season occurs.

When is the Crape Myrtle Flowering Season?

When is the Crape Myrtle Flowering Season?

Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) are deciduous or evergreen shrubs that flower throughout summer and fall. The flowers can emerge as early as May or as late as July, depending on the climate. Most types of crape myrtles bloom between July and September.

Crape myrtles have beautiful crepe-like flowers in various colors, such as pink, purple, red, and white. These flowers are produced in large panicles on the stems. Crape myrtle shrubs can flower prolifically, making them excellent ornamental shrubs for most gardens.

Crape myrtles are native to parts of Australia, Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. Once crape myrtles were introduced to North America, they naturalized rapidly, especially in the Southern United States. As such, crape myrtle is sometimes known as the “Lilac of the South”.

Crape myrtle shrubs flower best in USDA Zones 6 to 9. Crape myrtles prefer warm, humid conditions such as those in the South. However, most crape myrtles are cold-hardy down to -5ºF, enabling them to survive most winters.

How Long Do Crape Myrtle Flowers Last?

How Long Do Crape Myrtle Flowers Last?

Once they start blooming, crape myrtle shrubs can produce flowers for three to four months. Some crape myrtles can bloom twice a year. If your crape myrtle has flowers before June, deadhead spent flowers as they fade towards the end of July. This should encourage a second smaller round of flowers during late summer.

Crape Myrtle Size and Lifespan

Crape myrtles grow between 10 and 30 feet tall and around 6 to 20 feet wide, depending on the variety. You can also find dwarf and semi-dwarf cultivars that are well-suited for growing in pots. Most dwarf crape myrtles grow between 2 and 6 feet tall and approximately 4 to 6 feet wide.

Crape myrtles are fast-growing plants that can add 2 to 3 feet of new growth each year. Crape myrtles usually live for approximately 25 to 50 years. Despite their fast growth rate, crape myrtles can take 5 to 10 years to reach their mature height.

Crape Myrtle Flowering Season FAQs:

What Month do Crape Myrtles Bloom?

Most crape myrtles bloom from July until September. However, crape myrtle flowers can emerge as early as mid-May, depending on the climate and variety.

Do Crepe Myrtles Bloom More Than Once?

Crape myrtles that start producing flowers in May can bloom more than once. Once the first round of flowers is fading in July, deadhead them. This encourages a second flush of smaller blooms in late summer.

Do Crape Myrtles Like Full Sun or Shade?

Crape myrtles thrive in full sun and need approximately six hours of direct sunlight daily. In hotter areas, provide partial shade in the afternoon.

Wrapping Up

Crape myrtles are beautiful shrubs that produce panicles of colorful flowers from summer to fall and may bloom as early as May. Crape myrtle shrubs can bloom for three to four months, depending on the variety.

For more, see our in-depth guide on how to grow crepe myrtle bonsai.

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