Now Is the Time for Pruning Roses & Crepe Myrtles

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By Mia Freneaux      

The county extension agent recommends pruning crape myrtles now for best flowering later.  Use a selective method of pruning that thins the canopy.  Remove all suckers from the bases of the trees, and all weak growth from the center of the tree to encourage an open growth pattern to allow air circulation and sunlight penetration.  Pruning bloom clusters after flowers fade may promote further blooming and prevent limb breakage.  This is also the time to prune hybrid tea and grandiflora roses.  Use sharp hand pruners that make clean cuts.  Cut all diseased or dead canes back to their point of origin.  Remove spindly, less than a pencil diameter canes.  A healthy rose should have 4 to 8 strong canes the diameter of your finger or larger.  Next cut remaining canes 18 to 24 inches above the ground, being sure to cut ¼ inch above a dormant bud or newly sprouted side shoot.  Try to cut back to buds that face outward to ensure proper growth.  You can find more information at


  1. B. Morgan

    February 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for this timely and informative article. Even those of us who know this need reminders! NOTE TO WEBMASTER: Need Photos!!

  2. Mike Mannino

    February 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    What about those clusters of seeds on Crepe Myrtles ? Are you supposed to prune them ?

  3. Donna Dufour

    February 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I Called Landscape Central, owned by Jeff and June Newman, to trim our one and only Crepe Myrtle in our front yard. They came and really did a good job trimming and cleaning it up. They took their time and explained what needed to be done and why. Then they looked at some of our other plants.They didn’t have any fertilizer with them but came back the next day and fertilized everything that needed it, front and back. Very reasonably priced. We really enjoyed talking to them and when we are ready for a front flower bed we will be calling them.

  4. mia freneaux

    March 8, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Hey Mike!
    I’m sorry I missed your original post. From my research, it indicates that pruning the seed pods is fine. Actually, in many cases, inevitable since you would be pruning the smaller branches that they grow on. Hope this is not too late and that your crape myrtles are looking good!

    thanks for the post –

  5. mia freneaux

    March 8, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Mille Tonneres! Just noticed I gave the “French” spelling of crape myrtles in the headline! 😉 Oops—

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