New crepe myrtle won’t flower
I have a multi-trunk lavender crepe myrtle tree that was planted in a sunny spot in my yard almost two years ago (two years in October). Flower production a year ago was modest but this year we've seen almost nothing. It was pruned in early spring, February I think, and seems to be growing well, lots of leaves. But the tip of the branch shoots that should turn into flowers have just turned black, dry and brittle. It was planted by a gardener, in a chicken wire basket due to moles, voles and gophers but has not been fertilized since it was planted. Our neighborhood in Northern California has similar trees in blossom all over right now and every year. Is it just slow to get started ? Pruned too early or too late? Missed needed fertilizer ? Thanks for your help. DW Page Santa Rosa Ca
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I suspect water deficit and/or nutrient deficiency.
Soil fertility and water management are vital for plant health, flowering and fruit development.
Water a wide area not just near the tree trunk, cover the absorbing root zone which spreads as far as the foliar canopy and more.
Water deeply to wet the soil a minimum of six inches, preferably to 10 - 12 inches. Check this two to four hours after watering by digging down in a couple of spots to see how far the water infiltrated.
Mulch the soil surface to help retain soil moisture. Use compost or something like this that you can get at a local garden center:
Fertilize spring and summer with a slow release complete organic fertilizer:
Don't prune it back too hard, just deadwood removal, light thinning and shaping.