Traditional crepe myrtle bushes have often been bypassed by gardeners because of their large size, but dwarf crepe myrtles are a beautiful alternative to the traditional variety. These plants grow just 12-14 inches high during the growing season and die during the winter, compared to the clumsy 15 or so feet of the regular-sized crepe myrtle. They also produce flower blooms for an extended period of time during the summer in a wide range of vibrant colors. To successfully plant and grow a dwarf crepe myrtle bush in your lawn or garden, follow the tips below.
Nutrient distribution can sometimes be an issue with smaller plants, so be sure to properly mulch and fertilize the area in which you plan to plant your dwarf crepe myrtle. A mushroom compost and blood and bone fertilizer should work well. The mushroom compost will reduce surface compaction, therefore improving drainage. The compost may be fine on its own in areas with adequate soil, but the addition of a fertilizer may be a necessity if your soil is poor. Spread the compost and fertilizer components around the entire planting area to ensure your dwarf crepe myrtle receiver proper nutrition.
Dwarf crepe myrtles thrive in full sunlight and well-drained soil. Thus, make sure you do not choose a planting location that is predisposed to holding water. Again, the mushroom compost can aid with drainage. It is also important to give your crepe myrtle some space. Although the dwarf version grows just about a foot or two high, it tends to sprawl out as it grows, sometimes overtaking other plants. For this reason, the plant is sometimes referred to as the "weeping crepe myrtle."
You will want to prune your dwarf crepe myrtle during the winter. Cut away dead areas or empty blooms to allow for optimal growth once the growing season returns.