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Starting a Crape Myrtle from a Cutting

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July 23, 2009
By Ellen Brown

Question:

I have a crepe myrtle. I am moving and wanted to get a start of the tree. I am wondering when is a good time to take a cutting?
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Hardiness Zone: 8a

Thanks,
Rita from Dallas, TX

Answer:

Rita,

Crepe myrtle trees can be propagated by both hardwood or softwood cuttings.

Hardwood cuttings from dormant plants root easily in the winter, especially with a bit help from some rooting hormone. They can be taken in December.

Softwood cuttings root easily in the summer (May). I would recommend taking several cuttings in the event that some fail. If you end up getting several cuttings to root, you can always give them away to your new neighbors.

Take 4-inch long cuttings, each with a bud 1/4 of an inch from the top end. They should be about as thick as a pencil.

Dip the bottom of each cutting into a rooting hormone and insert the cuttings into a pot filled with a moist lightweight potting soil or soil-less mix.

The cuttings should be kept humid and moist (not wet) until they have developed several sets of leaves. This can be accomplished by placing the top half of a 2-liter bottle over the pots.

If things start to get too moist, just remove the covering for a few minutes to allow them some air. Keep the cuttings in a warm, bright location, but out of direct sunlight.

Good luck with your move!
Ellen

More Answers

Starting a Crepe Myrtle from a Cutting

I have been rooting crepe myrtles for 9 years and they are so easy to propagate. I have rooted, planted and given away in excess of 100 crepes. Trust me it's easy.

The following information is from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Crape myrtle is easily propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings taken during the growing season. June, July and August are excellent times to root cuttings. Take cuttings from new growth of the season, leaving three to four nodes per cutting and several leaves. Rooting hormone is generally not necessary, and cuttings should root in three to four weeks. Place cuttings in a well-drained rooting medium in a shaded area and keep them moist by enclosing them in a clear plastic bag.

Cuttings also can be placed in prepared outdoor rooting beds. Thoroughly cultivate the soil to a depth of 10 to 12 inches. Add 4 to 5 inches of organic matter such as peat moss, leaf mold, or pine bark to the surface and thoroughly mix it into the soil.

Place the cuttings approximately 6 inches apart. Insert them one-half their length into the soil. Mulch with 2 to 3 inches of pine straw, leaf mold, or pine bark to conserve moisture. Keep them moist with regular misting. The young rooted plants can be transplanted to their permanent location during the fall and winter.

(09/18/2006)

By texylady

Starting a Crepe Myrtle from a Cutting

I also make cuttings from my own purple crepe myrtles. I take semi hard cuttings that are 12 inches with 3 or 4 branches on each cutting, removing all the leaves. I have a glass jar that holds 3 to 5 cuttings that is large with a wide opening. I always keep 3 inches of water in it. By keeping them in the water, I can see the white nodules begin to grow and turn into roots.

I do this with my Confederate Rose, also. I have white ones and the pink, too. It works for me every time. After I see the roots I plant them in pots of potting soil. Here is a pic of a pink Confederate rose of mine. I did this with cuttings from a seven Sisters Rose, also Sherry Hampton. (10/12/2006)

By Sherry Hampton

RE: Starting a Crepe Myrtle from a Cutting

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Can you root crape myrtle suckers? I have two shoots coming out of a whip I planted this past winter that may be suckers, and I was wondering if I should try to root them. Also, what is the best way to remove them from the tree? I've read that tearing them from the trunk is the best way.

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5 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 27, 2018

Can I start 12" footings for crepe myrtle shrubs in containers on my porch this year and plant them in the yard when they're a bit bigger and more sturdy?


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April 29, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Start using cuttings 3-5 inches with rooting hormone. It may be next year before they are ready for the yard though.

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February 15, 2011

Where can I find diagrqms or pictures of crape myrtle hardwood cuttings? Please.

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Jeanne from Decatur, GA

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June 26, 2018

I had a large crape myrtle branch break during a bad storm and I was wondering if the branch can be used to propagate for a new tree?


Answers

June 26, 20180 found this helpful

Yes. It takes 6-8 weeks.

Step 1
Dip the branch in rooting hormone.

Step 2
Put in a container of moist sand and potting soil mix.

Step 3
Cover with a plastic bag.

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June 26, 20181 found this helpful

Oh...storms...they drive me crazy when they break my lovelies!

I just this morning had the same conversation with a friend of mine. She does this (rooting broken branches) with good potting soil in a pretty pot or jug or if a large branch--a sturdy plastic garbage can. They live in the container until they can be transplanted.

She puts them in the space where she wants to grow them, watches their water to keep them moist, but not drowning and turns them periodically until the roots are established. Sometimes a broom stick or tomato stake is needed to add a little added support. You can use an old knee high or stocking or pantyhose leg as a tie as it stretches and breathes with the plant. Tie loosely so as not to strangle!

She has had success doing this with Myrtle, Hibiscus, and Rose of Sharon. Her yard is amazing and has all been done with babies from mom (willing and unwilling--aka storm donor) plants!

Good luck!!

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