How to Deadhead Crape Myrtles for Second Blooming

Cut off spent crape myrtle blossoms by late July to encourage flowering again.

I’ve heard that if you deadhead crape myrtles, they’ll bloom again. Is this true?

Many varieties of crape myrtles can be encouraged to bloom a second time, but timing is important. Deadheading crape myrtles (removing dead or dying flowers) encourages new sprouts and blooms, but if you deadhead too late in the season, the tender new growth that is produced can be damaged by cold weather.

Follow these tips when deadheading crape myrtles:

    • July Deadline: If the blooms on your crape myrtles are already fading by the end of July, deadheading can encourage another (probably smaller) bloom in late summer.
  • Leave Late Bloomers Alone: Depending on your climate, many popular crape myrtle varieties don’t start blooming until June and keep on going straight through until fall. These varieties shouldn’t be deadheaded – not only can they be damaged by cold weather, but they probably won’t have time to produce more blossoms anyway.

To deadhead your crape myrtles, simply snip off the flower heads once the color begins to fade. If you aren’t trying to encourage a second bloom, leave the blossoms alone and enjoy the lovely seed heads that follow.


Further Information


  1. I planted 2 Crepe Myrtles in my front yard 2 summers ago. They bloomed beautifully last year after I’d babied and watered them profusely since planting. Left the seeds alone all winter, they popped open long ago – but my plants have not put out one single bloom yet this year. It’s already late July and I miss seeing my beautiful fuschia blooms out there. Do I need to fertilize them? Or spray them with an insect killer? If so, what kind should I use? I’m hoping that if the problem can be solved I can still get some blooms before the first frost in late fall here in the lowcountry of SC. Thanks for your help!

  2. I have 4 different colors of crepe myrtles and they are doing super great. I live in Columbus,Ohio 43207. I thought I would try to grow them here and it paid off great.

  3. I have planted several crepe myrtles over the previous years. I deadhead mine after the blooms a completely dead. Also, root sticks for fertilizer every early spring is key. Keep them well mulched as well.

  4. I also live in the lowcountry of SC and planted two Acoma dwarf crepe myrtles in my front yard last summer. They were in bloom when I purchased them and planted them, however, this year (in July!) there is no sign of buds! I did notice spider mites on the underside of leaves so I sprayed them a couple of times with Natria at the end of June. A few days ago I fertilized them with 15-30-15 Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster and have noticed a total of two stems producing those red bundle of leaves you see right before buds develop. I will certainly be watching for more growth 🙂 I also trimmed about 1/3 of the new growth (4 or so inches) off each Acoma as a test to see what they do between the growth already put out and the light pruning I did (I trimmed them the day before I fertilized).

    *B.Knight*>> I’d love to know if yours bloomed late last summer!

  5. I have 2 crepe murtels in front of a rent house on my property. There are guys living there & they don’t water them. I want to dig them up & move them in front of my house where I have 2 more. We have temps coming up this week in the 80’s & ‘changes’ of rain 4 – 5 days in a row. When I plant them I will use root stimulator to give them a boost after disturbing them. Is there anything else I should do to hopefully insure they make the move.
    Thanks, Joanna

  6. I started a crepe myrtle last year from a cutting. Although it had grown to 4 foot high this year, it didn’t have any blossoms by the end of July. So, I spread a cup or two of Bone meal around the trunk of the plant (and worked it into the soil a little). That was about two weeks ago, now a bunch of blossoms have appeared and they are getting ready to bloom.

  7. Uhhh…Joanna…did you get permission from the owners of the property to dig up the plants? As a rental property owner, just want to say that the guys living there do not own the plants, unless it’s something they have added since moving in. I was thinking how upset I’d be if someone went and dug up roses and irises that I’ve planted on property that I rent. Just something to think about.

  8. UPDATE FROM LAST MONTH: The two Acoma dwarf myrtles have both bloomed an abundance of large white blooms since I last posted! There are just as many buds waiting to open up as there are blooms, too!

    MARY – Joanna specifically says the rental house is on HER property, therefore, the trees belong to Joanna to dig up and move.

  9. Crape Myrtles don’t need to be deadheaded. They bloom all summer with no help. I’ve never deadheaded and never will. Perhaps they would bloom bigger if I did, but as they are without deadheading, once the bloom is gone, it is full of new flowers, regular as clockwork. This happens with all varieties, all colors, all ages. They completely cover themselves all late spring, summer, and early fall. Couldn’t ask for an easier plant.

  10. My crepe myrtles look great when the leaves begin to appear. They are lush and green, but as they grow longer, they turn red and yellow. Some bloom well anyway, but a couple produce blooms sparsely. Our soil is poor at best, and our climate is dry, but I water well and I’ve used a timed release iron and miracle grow plant spikes, but nothing helps the color of the foliage. ANY help would be appreciated!

  11. Hi how are you? I moved into a home about a year ago in Central Florida. The Crape Myrtle was already there in the backyard. It has lost it’s leaves (we are in winter), but there is some strange white fungus or natural shedding, (shedding) on all the trunks at the base as well as several feet up the branches. Is this normal? I don’t want to lost this tree.
    Thank you.

  12. I have several crepe myrtles, BUT it seems 4 of them have dead stem/ branches after the first year. I just now finally wen o ut to cut them back, but there is hardly any plant left. the larger stems were the ones with no growth. One of the smaller ones, had several bare branches and dont understand why. 2 of them are fine.

  13. Hi i have 3 crepe myrtles in my yard however when u want to trim these bushes u need to do this like i mid march and then later on if u get dead branches then trim them off if u trim when new stuff starts to grow then u may have cut off the blooms and i have also never had to dead head to much because they just keep on blooming one of mine started to bloom july 10 other one has since end of june however i purchased a red one this early spring and it is showing no signs of blooming? i want to try the bone meal in my soil this web page has been very helpful to me!

  14. Should I prune the crape myrtle seed pods after blooming season or just leave them alone. If I should prune, when should I do this?

  15. I live in Tampa Bay Area and planted 8 crepe myrtles 20 years ago. I give them no special care other than trimming them somewhat severely each Spring – have even cut a few down to the trunk area ( so I can enjoy the blooms from my dining room window!… and am blessed with a profusion of blooms year after year, after year! I marvel at their beauty and send pictures every year to all my friends and family. They never complain that they “ got this last year”! ?


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