Fertilizing Crape Myrtles

Understanding how, when, and what types of fertilizers to use can be tricky. If you’ve wondered, should I fertilize my newly planted Crape Myrtle? The answer is yes. Crape Myrtle will benefit from being fed, but new plants have different fertilization needs than mature, established plants. Fertilizing shrubs keeps the plants healthy, but it also supports more flowers. Crape Myrtle blooms on new growth, so feeding the plant promotes new growth, which means more flowers. Here is what you need to know about fertilizing Crape Myrtle.


How to Fertilize Crape Myrtle

All-purpose plant food is usually a good choice, and it keeps things simple, so you may want to use products like Miracle Grow to feed Crape Myrtle. More advanced gardeners can measure the soil pH and select a more customized fertilizer. Crape Myrtle prefers soil with a pH of 5.0 - 6.5 and is slightly acidic, so choosing a plant food that provides these conditions can promote more growth.

Whatever plant food product you select, make sure to water the plant when applying fertilizer. Fertilizer burn happens when plant food comes into direct contact with the roots, and it can be damaging. Watering the plant can prevent fertilizer burn and allows the roots to better absorb the nutrients from the plant food.

Best Time To Fertilize Crape Myrtle

Feed newly planted Crape Myrtle once a month during the first growing season. Consistent feeding establishes a robust root system that will enable the plant to support itself long term. Established plants can benefit from one application of slow-release fertilizer in the spring. Try to time it so the plant food is applied before the new growth emerges for best results. More involved gardeners can continue to lightly fertilize Crape Myrtle every two weeks throughout the growing season.

Stop fertilizing Crape Myrtle in the fall to harden off the plant and help it prepare for winter. The plant goes dormant in the winter and does not require water or fertilizer, and giving the plant time to harden off eases the transition from actively growing to dormancy.

Best Fertilizer For Crape Myrtle

Use a balanced fertilizer with a ratio like 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 for Crape Myrtle plants. Slow-release fertilizer is a good choice and will support consistent growth. Always water the plant immediately after applying slow-release fertilizer to help the roots soak up the plant food. Generic products like Miracle Grow can also provide a balanced mix of nutrients and support new growth and plentiful blooms.

Crape Myrtle Fertilizing Tips

  • Fertilize newly planted Crape Myrtle once per month during the growing season
  • Lightly feed established plants every two weeks during the growing season or once in the spring using a slow-release fertilizer
  • Stop feeding Crape Myrtle in the fall to harden the plant off


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 25-01-2022