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Don't be a "CRAPE," prune your MYRTLES in January for Beautiful Blooms!

Updated: Jan 9

January is the perfect pruning time for your crape myrtles,.

It's like giving them a spa day.

A little pruning TLC NOW will go a long way in promoting the health and happiness of your trees as we wade through the winter months.

PLUS, your crapes will thank you later with beautiful blooms!

Read on to find out how Wade in the Water Landscape & Irrigation can help you with this task.

Happy New Year, fellow Lawn Lovers!

This is Shane from Wade in the Water Landscape & Irrigation. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that you are ready for a new year of enjoying your outdoor space!

In this blog post, I want to answer a series of common questions that many of our clients ask us on a regular basis:

  1. How do I know if my crape myrtle needs pruning?

  2. When is the best time to prune them?

  3. How do I go about pruning them?


Crape myrtles are one of the most popular flowering trees in our area, and for good reason. They have beautiful blooms that last for months, attractive bark that adds interest in winter, and a graceful shape that enhances any landscape. But to keep them healthy and beautiful, they need proper pruning every year. - Flower of the South (1)
Download PDF • 523KB


"Crapemyrtle - Flower of the South," a Mississippi State University Extension Publication


Pruning crape myrtles is not just about aesthetics. It's also about preventing diseases, pests, and structural problems that can affect the health and longevity of your trees. Pruning helps to improve air circulation, sunlight penetration, and flower production. It also helps to remove dead, diseased, or damaged branches that can harbor insects or fungi.

But how do you know if your crape myrtle needs pruning?

The answer depends on the age and condition of your tree, and your personal preference. But there are some signs that indicate that your crape myrtle could benefit from pruning:

  • Your crape myrtle has not been pruned for more than a year;

  • Your crape myrtle has branches that cross or rub against each other, or grow inward toward the center of the tree;

  • Your crape myrtle has branches that are dead, diseased, or damaged;

  • Your crape myrtle has suckers that grow from the base or roots of the tree;

  • Your crape myrtle has a dense canopy that blocks light and air from reaching the inner branches;

  • Your crape myrtle has a lopsided or uneven shape that affects its stability or appearance;

  • Your crape myrtle has branches that are too long or too short for your liking.

But when is the best time to do it? 

Some people think that pruning should be done in late fall or early winter, when the trees are dormant. But this is not the case. Pruning too early can expose the trees to cold damage, as they may not have enough time to harden off before the first frost. Pruning too early can also stimulate new growth that can be killed by freezing temperatures.


The best time to prune crape myrtles is in late winter or early spring, when the trees are still dormant but the risk of frost is low. In our area, that means January. Pruning in January gives the trees enough time to heal their wounds before the growing season starts. It also allows you to see the structure of the branches better, without the leaves obscuring your view.

"Pruning your crape myrtles in January is like giving them a spa day. They'll thank you later with beautiful blooms!" – Shane Wade Owner; Certified Landscape Horticulturist; Certified Gardner; Certified Tree Surgeon

How do you prune crape myrtles?

Answer #1.) We recommend you call or text us at 601-401-6944, and our pruning pros will come take care of pruning your crapes!

Answer #2.) It depends on the size and shape of your trees, and your personal preference. Here are some general guidelines that my fellow experts and I follow and advise:

  • Use sharp and clean tools that make clean cuts and prevent infection;

  • Remove any suckers that grow from the base or roots of the tree;

  • Remove any branches that cross or rub against each other, or grow inward toward the center of the tree;

  • Remove any branches that are dead, diseased, or damaged;

  • Thin out some of the smaller branches to open up the canopy and allow more light and air to reach the inner branches;

  • -back some of the longer branches to maintain a balanced and symmetrical shape;

  • Avoid cutting back more than one-third of the total length of any branch;

  • Avoid topping or chopping off the main branches, as this can create stubs that are prone to disease and decay, and ruin the natural shape of the tree.


Following these guidelines will prevent any “crape murders” from occurring, and keep your crapes healthy, happy, and beautiful while you await your reward of abundant flowers in summer.

Pro Pruning at Your Service

If you’re not sure you’re up for a DIY proper pruning, or if you don’t have the time or tools to do it yourself, don't worry – we’ve got you covered.

The Wade in the Water Landscape & Irrigation Team is standing by, and we are prepared to prune! We have the knowledge and experience to prune your trees properly, safely, and affordably.

We’ll assess the health and structure of your trees, determine the best time and method to prune them, and use the right tools and techniques to do it.



Click Here to Schedule Your Appointment

Don't wait until it's too late. Book an appointment with us today to have your crape myrtles pruned in January, and enjoy their beauty all year long!


Contact us via text or phone call at 601-401-6944 to schedule your appointment, or book online HERE.


Thank you for choosing Wade in the Water Landscape & Irrigation, your trusted partner for all your landscaping needs.

We want to hear your thoughts! Post your comments and questions below!



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