Hardiness Zone: 8a
mg24510455 from Maryland
You didn't mention how old your crape myrtle is. The Muskogee variety is a fast growing variety and one that tends to be one of the earliest bloomers. It starts flowering in early spring (May) with flowers lasting until late summer. Since it sounds like you just transplanted a seedling, depending on its age, you can expect it to take a few years to settle in and mature before it starts flowering. It should start to leaf out as the weather warms. Keep in mind that transplant shock will probably cause it to leaf out later than usual this year.
If you don't see buds swelling and leaves popping out after the weather gets warm, contact the nursery where you purchased it from about your concerns. If you're asking how old your tree has to be before flowering, things like climate, light, pruning and genetics all play a factor in making that determination.
Studies have suggested that soil conditions can play a role in determining how soon a young crape myrtle flowers. Although they will survive in highly acidic soils, crape myrtles thrive and produce more flowers at an earlier age in more alkaline conditions (adding calcium carbonate-lime-to soil will make it more alkaline). A lack of phosphorus can also inhibit flowering. Wait until your tree settles in over the next year (never fertilize a tree the year you plant it) and then start it on a slow release organic fertilizer that is high in phosphorus (P=second number).
About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
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