No, wait until later in the Spring before cutting them back because not all of the damage is clearly evident yet. Some stems may be partially damaged and be subject to dying back later in the season requiring a second pruning. After new sprouts emerge on the limbs cut them back several inches into healthy wood .

My neighbor cuts his Crape Myrtle limbs back to ugly large stubs each Winter. He says that cutting them back helps to make them bloom better. My co-workers tell me that you shouldn’t prune them that way. Who is right?

Your neighbors pruning technique is an old practice that is generally frowned upon now. Some gardeners call this type of pruning “Crape Murder” because the natural form of the shrub is destroyed. We would suggest removing dead wood, diseased or broken wood, unwanted sprouts from the base or along the trunks and skinny wood smaller in diameter than a pencil. Pruning in this fashion will give you plenty of blooms and a nice natural looking form even in the Winter when the branches is all we have to look at.

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Category: January
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