How Long Do Crepe Myrtles Live?
Generally crepe myrtles live for 20-25 years but the longevity also depends on the care provided
Crepe Myrtles, popularly called Lagerstroemia is a majestic tree that can be seen in many homes in the United States. The skilled gardeners of the south tenderly call it Lilac. You can plant this valuable tree as a small shrub or tree to beautify your garden.
You can easily enjoy these trees for 20-25 years. Through their short lifespan, they don’t require too much maintenance.
How Long Do Crepe Myrtles Live?
On average, a crepe myrtle’s lifespan can be 20-25 years. This goes the same for almost all types of crepe myrtles.
However, some of its varieties are known to live for more than 50 years, if you take good care of them. For instance, the oldest crepe myrtle tree is about 132 years.
The best thing about these trees is that it requires little maintenance and still live for a decent time. It just has some basic necessities for survival that you will need to satisfy, like well-drained soil and full sunlight exposure.
Where Do You Found Crepe Myrtles?
Crepe myrtles are wonderful plants that thrive well when you grow them under favorable conditions. Originally, you can find these lovely flowering trees in the eastern parts of Asia and several regions of the United States.
Whether you want to grow them to create an appealing garden or for a colorful privacy fence. Make sure to check its different colorful varieties like red, purple, white, pink and many more.
What Damages A Crepe Myrtle?
Crepe myrtles are the most preferred plants for many house owners even though they know how long do crepe myrtle trees live. Technically, on average it is not very long.
They are preferred not just because of their vibrant summer hues but because they are easy to maintain. However, it might get affected by pests and diseases due to improper care which can damage its health.
Crepe myrtles might get attacked by a fungus, a sooty mold that might form a layer on your myrtle’s leaves. This prevents sunlight from reaching the leaves and it eventually turns yellow and wilts off.
Likewise, in rainy summers, it can get affected by powdery mildew which can be seen on flower buds and leaves in the form of white fungus. These issues often have a negative effect on the crepe myrtle life cycle, so let’s understand how to improve it.
What Enhances The Lifespan of A Crepe Myrtle?
Crepe myrtle is a fast-growing tree and shrub that makes your garden delightful. This makes them the perfect companion for indoors as well. But, we all know that improper care shortens the lifespan of any plant.
Want to learn some effective tips to enhance crepe myrtle lifespan? Read on to know how you can have a long-lived crepe myrtle and enjoy its pleasing sight for many years to come.
A. Ideal temperature and sun exposure
The most important thing to keep your crepe myrtle plant happy is to keep it under perfect sunlight exposure and temperature. Ideally, these plants should get 6 to 8 hours of direct sun exposure on daily basis. Otherwise, it will start stressing out, like you can notice wilting, browning of leaves, and drooping branches.
Likewise, crepe myrtles grow best in regions with warm temperatures. The best-suited USDA zones for their growth are 7 to 10. If you want to plant this shrub anywhere outside the recommended zone, it would be wise to consult a professional gardener for maintenance and care tips. They can offer you effective tips for myrtle care and enhance how long do crepe myrtles live.
B. Proper soil
Another very important factor that contributes to improving crepe myrtle life is the preparation of the right soil. To make sure that your plant gets the necessary nutrients, use quality soil with organic matter.
Don’t forget that crepe myrtles need to be fertilized more often than other plants. So, choose fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen such as urea and ammonium sulfate. It’s an effective strategy to amplify crepe myrtle lifespan.
D. Proper watering
Plan to water your crepe myrtle plant deeply to keep the soil moist. These incredible plants need to be watered up to at least 1 inch every week. Whereas, if you live in a region with a dry and hot climate, you might need to add more water to your plants. Once it matures, the plant builds tolerance to thrive in drought regions.
In the business of landscaping myrtles, pruning has become an important factor in how long does a crepe myrtle live. Crepe myrtles need to be pruned which includes the removal of diseased and dead branches. Early spring is the perfect time to prune your plants.
This is the time when new leaves grow and pruning will help in rejuvenating the plant. Another added benefit of pruning at this time is that you will be easily able to identify any pests or diseases and prevent severe harm to your plant.
Q. How to tell the age of crepe myrtle?
Ans. You can determine the age of a crepe myrtle by understanding its stages of growth.
If a crepe myrtle tree is loaded with flowers then it must be at least 5 years old. If it bears flowers and has reached a height of 10-15 feet, then probably the tree would be 10-15 years old.
If it has reached its mature height og 15-30’ and width of 10-15’ then it should be no less than 20 years of age.
Q. Which is the oldest crepe myrtle?
Ans. The lifespanofa crepe myrtle tree found in Roncade part of Italy is 132 years, making it one of the oldest ones.
Q. How long do crepe myrtles bloom?
Ans. Spring is the best time when crepe myrtles prefer to grow young flower buds. So, you can mostly find beautiful flowers on these plants in the summer season, i.e. from mid-May to early June. It is the perfect time when different cultivars of crepe myrtles produce colorful flowers.
Depending on the cultivar that you have planted, the majestic plants may continue to flower for about 3-4 months. The perfect time to fertilize your young plant is either early spring or winter end. Remember adding the right fertilziers can improve your crepe myrtle lifespan.
Q. How do you know when a crepe myrtle is dying?
Ans. The best way to know if your crepe myrtle is dying or just dormant is doing a scratch test. You can even perform this test if you want to determine whether or not your plant is in good health. These trees have thin bark which can be easily scraped with the help of fingernails.
On doing this, if you find that the inside layer of bark is green, this indicates you have a healthy plant. Otherwise, you’ll need to look for help.
If you want to add beautiful and low-maintenance green trees to your garden, then Crepe Myrtles can be a great option. Their not-so-long lifespan could be a dealbreaker for many, however, they don’t require much maintenance.