Growing crepe myrtles in planters is about as easy as container gardening comes. Enjoy growing these trees in any of your favorite sunny locations.
Trees are a significant part of bringing height, structure, and shade to any garden space, and crepe myrtles can bring genteel beauty to your outdoor living area. Plus, crepe myrtles can thrive in a planter, so you can transform any difficult growing areas in your landscape with these graceful beauties too. With planters as an option, even those outside the growing zones for crepe myrtles can grow them in planters during the warm season and bring them indoors during winter.
Here are your top ten tips for growing crepe myrtles in planters.
Find Bright Sun
Locate the areas in your garden, patio, or balcony that get bright, hot sun. Crepe myrtles flower best when they receive six or more hours of direct sunlight per day. Don’t skip this step! If you have too much shade your crepe myrtle will not be happy.
Choose a crepe myrtle variety that will grow the appropriate size for the area where the planter will be placed. For example, a condo balcony could only handle a 4′ to 6′ variety, but a rooftop garden or large patio would welcome the shade of the larger crepe myrtle varieties.
Use the Right Planter
Choose a planter with drainage holes, and make sure it is big enough to handle the crepe myrtle when it is full size. A general rule of thumb is that the planter size should be one-third the size of the full grown tree. Self-watering planters with overflow tubes are a great option for those with water restrictions, who worry about water dripping off a balcony, or who just can’t always remember to water. And look for lightweight, double-walled planters which protect roots from heat and cold, plus they are a lot easier to bring indoors during the winters.
Move Before Planting
Place the planter in the desired location before filling with soil and planting. Even with light-weight planters, a planter full of potting soil and tree can be heavy to move after planting.
Choose Quality Soil
Use a good quality potting soil that is made for outdoor planters. Fill the planter with soil until the soil is high enough to place the root ball of the tree so that the top of the root ball is one inch below the lip of the planter. Continue adding soil around the roots to fill the planter, pressing soil gently to ensure the root ball is secure.
Water Well To Start
Water planter deeply until water comes out of holes or overflow tubes.
Finish off your planter with a layer of pine fines, mulch, sphagnum moss, or clean sand. Make sure there is still about one half to one inch between the finished layer and the top of the planter. This allows space for water to collect and soak into the planter.
Crepe myrtles can tolerate dry conditions, but don’t neglect watering especially during the hot summer months. Water deeply two or three times a week during those hot, dry months. Do not overwater! Crepe myrtles will give you a hint that they are thirsty when their leaves curl slightly.
Fertilize Each Spring
Fertilize your planter every spring with a fertilizer specific for flowering trees or shrubs.
Consider Winter Weather
Only bring your crepe myrtle indoors during the winter months if the tree variety is not hardy in your zone. Otherwise, enjoy your lovely tree year round.
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