Watering Crape Myrtles

Crape Myrtle is a perennial flowering shrub that can take on a tree-like appearance once established. Watering is vital for all plants, and sticking to a consistent watering schedule can help establish a robust root system that will enable the plant to thrive. Crape Myrtle is particular about the amount of water it receives, so find out how to properly water Crape Myrtle to help the plant grow. 


How To Tell If Crape Myrtle Needs Watered

Crape Myrtle has medium water needs, and soil should be consistently damp. Feeling the ground is an excellent way to know when the plant needs water. Dry soil indicates the plant is dehydrated and it needs water. The leaves may wilt, and the stems may droop if the plant is too dry.

Wet soil means the plant is good for now, and you should wait to water it. Too much water is possibly just as damaging as not enough, and new foliage may appear light in color and die back before reaching maturity if the plant is overwatered. Crape Myrtle may not produce as many flowers if the conditions are too wet.


How Often To Water Crape Myrtle

Water newly planted Crape Myrtle weekly or whenever the top couple of inches of soil dry out. The soil should remain consistently damp. The newly planted Crape Myrtle needs to maintain a regular watering schedule for the first growing season to establish a strong root system.

Established Crape Myrtle are drought-tolerant and will not require frequent watering. However, the plant may need help during a dry spell, so check in on your Crape Myrtle during a drought. Giving the plant water during an extended dry period can help support healthy growth and maintain striking blooms.

Can you overwater Crape Myrtle? Yes, Crape Myrtle can be overwatered. The plant may not bloom as much, and new foliage may die back if the plant is overwatered.

Potted Crape Myrtle plants need more consistent watering because container-grown plants can dry out more quickly. Water potted Crape Myrtle when the top few inches of the soil are dry. The plant will typically need water once every few days, depending on the weather.

Best Time To Water Crape Myrtle

When possible, try to water Crape Myrtle in the morning. This plant thrives in sunny areas, and while intense afternoon sunlight supports healthy growth, it also dries out the plant and the soil. Giving the plant a deep watering early in the day gives it a chance to soak up the moisture before the intense afternoon sunlight reaches the foliage. Crape Myrtle plants do not need to be watered during the fall and winter when the plant is not actively growing. The plant can sustain itself without water while it is dormant.

How to Water Crape Myrtle

Step 1 - Check the top several inches of soil.

Water when the soil is slightly damp or dry and wait to water if the soil is wet.

Step 2 - Saturate the soil.

Drenching the ground gets the entire root ball wet and promotes healthy root growth.

Step 3 - Water the soil around the plant.

Crape Myrtle is prone to mold and powdery mildew, so water the ground around the plant to keep the foliage as dry as possible.

Step 4 - Check on established plants.

Established Crape Myrtle are drought-tolerant but still check on the plant during a dry spell and water during very dry conditions to keep the plant happy and healthy.

Crape Myrtle Watering Tips

  • Water newly planted Crape Myrtle when the top few inches of soil are slightly damp.
  • Drench the soil to promote healthy root growth.
  • Water the ground around the plant to minimize the chance of mold or mildew forming on the foliage.
  • Check on established plants during a drought and water if the plant is dry.

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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 25-01-2022