Crepe Myrtle Fertilizer Needs: How To Fertilize Crepe Myrtle Trees

Crape Myrtle Plant With Red Flowers
crape myrtle
(Image credit: Faina Gurevich)

Crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is a useful flowering shrub or small tree for warm climates. Given proper care, these plants offer abundant and colorful summer blossoms with few pest or disease issues. Fertilizing crepe myrtle is an integral part of its care.

If you want to know how and when to fertilize this plant, read on for tips on feeding crepe myrtles.

Crepe Myrtle Fertilizer Needs

With very little maintenance, crepe myrtles will provide brilliant color for many years. You will need to start by siting them in sunny spots in well-cultivated soil and then fertilizing crepe myrtle shrubs appropriately.

Crepe myrtle fertilizer needs depend on a large part on the soil you plant them in. Consider getting a soil analysis before you start. Generally, feeding crepe myrtles will make your plants look better.

How to Fertilize Crepe Myrtle

You’ll want to start feeding with a general-purpose, well-balanced garden fertilizer. Use 8-8-8, 10-10-10, 12-4-8, or 16-4-8 fertilizer. A granular product works well for crepe myrtle.

Take care not to overfertilize. Too much food for crepe myrtles makes them grow more foliage and fewer flowers. It’s better to use too little than too much.

When to Fertilizer Crepe Myrtle

When you are planting young shrubs or trees, place granular fertilizer along the perimeter of the planting hole.

Assuming the plants are transferred from one-gallon (4 L.) containers, use one teaspoon (5 mL.) of fertilizer per plant. Use proportionately less for smaller plants. Repeat this monthly from spring to late summer, watering in well or applying just after a rain.

For established plants, simply broadcast the granular fertilizer in spring before new growth begins. Some gardeners repeat this in autumn. Use one pound of 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 sq. ft. (9.5 sq. m.). If you use 12-4-8 or 16-4-8 fertilizer, cut that amount in half. The square footage in the root area is determined by the branch spread of the shrubs.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.