Pink Flowered Crepe Myrtle Tree
crepe myrtle full bloom
(Image credit: Gary Fink)

You can go to a local nursery and purchase a crepe myrtle tree with plenty of blooms and plant it only to find that it is living but doesn't have many blooms on it. Do you know what the problem is? Read on to learn about crepe myrtle not blooming.

Reasons for No Flowers on Crepe Myrtle

Nothing is more beautiful than the flowers on a crepe myrtle. However, a crepe myrtle not blooming can be frustrating. Here are some reasons why this happens and tips for getting crepe myrtle trees to bloom.

Pruning too late

If there are no flowers on crepe myrtle, it could be that the tree was pruned late in the season, causing the new wood to be mistakenly removed, which causes the buds for the flowers to never really develop. Never prune a crepe myrtle before it blooms. That being said, when do crepe myrtles bloom? Crepe myrtle bloom time is just after the other flowering trees. They are usually the last of the flowering trees and shrubs to bloom.

Crepe myrtle not blooming due to crowded branches

If you have an older crepe myrtle that doesn't bloom the way you think it should, wait until after crepe myrtle bloom time and encourage the crepe myrtle bloom by pruning it carefully. If you trim away any of the dead branches that are inside the tree, this allows more sunshine and air to reach the tree. Further, don't just hack away at the tree. Make sure to enhance the look of the tree carefully.

Crepe myrtle not blooming due to lack of sun

Another reason there will be no flowers on crepe myrtle is that the tree is planted where it doesn't get enough sunshine. The crepe myrtle requires significant sunshine in order to bloom. If you have a crepe myrtle not blooming, it may be planted in a bad place that lacks sunshine. Take a look around and see if something is blocking the sun from the tree.

Crepe myrtle not blooming due to fertilizer

If the tree is getting plenty of sunshine and isn't an old tree in need of pruning, it could be the soil. In this case, if you want to make crepe myrtle bloom, you might want to check the soil and see if it might not have enough phosphorus or too much nitrogen. Both of these situations can cause there to be no flowers on crepe myrtle. Heavily fertilized garden beds and lawns may have too much nitrogen which promotes healthy leaves but fails to make crepe myrtle bloom. You might want to add a little bone meal around the tree which adds phosphorus over time to the soil. So when you ask yourself, "How can I make crepe myrtle bloom?" you should know that checking all of the things mentioned and taking care of any issues will make your crepe myrtle bloom time better than you ever anticipated.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.