Saving Crepe Myrtle Seeds: How To Harvest Crepe Myrtle Seeds

(Image credit: Gary Fink)

Crepe myrtle trees (Lagerstroemia indica) makes many homeowners’ list of favorites in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. They offer showy flowers in summer, vivid fall color, and textural bark in winter along with attractive seed heads. Collecting crepe myrtle seeds is one way to grow new plants. If you are wondering how to harvest crepe myrtle seeds, this article will help. We’ll provide lots of tips for crepe myrtle seed harvesting.

Saving Crepe Myrtle Seeds

The attractive seed heads that weigh down your crepe myrtle branches in winter contain seeds that wild birds love to eat. So, taking a few to increase your crepe myrtle seed collection will still leave them plenty. When should you start crepe myrtle seed harvesting? You’ll want to start saving crepe myrtle seeds when the seed pods ripen. Crepe myrtle trees flower in late summer and produce green berries. As fall approaches, the berries develop into seed heads. Each seed head holds tiny brown seeds. Over time, the seed pods turn brown and dry. That’s the time to start your crepe myrtle seed collection.

How to Harvest Crepe Myrtle Seeds

The seeds in the seed pods are easy to collect. You should harvest the seeds when the pods are brown and dry but before they drop to the soil. It’s not difficult. Keep a large bowl beneath the branch where the seed pods are located. When you want to start saving crepe myrtle seeds, shake the dry pods gently to release the seeds. You can also start your crepe myrtle seed collection by wrapping fine netting around the pods. The netting can catch the seeds if the pods open at a moment you aren’t around. Another way to start collecting crepe myrtle seeds is to bring the pods inside. You can snip off some attractive crepe myrtle branches that have seed pods on them. Make those branches into a bouquet. Place them in a vase with water on a plate or tray. Seeds will land on the tray when they fall from the drying pods.

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.