Pruning Knockouts & Crape Myrtles
Two of the most spectacular additions to any landscape are Knockout Roses and Crape Myrtles! Both offer fabulous color way beyond a single season each year, and both are amazingly easy to grow and tend in our area. REMINDER: This is a super planting season and adding either of these beauties to your yard – either as single points of interest or in groupings – is a great idea!
You’ve no doubt noticed that Knockout Roses often bloom well into fall – just one of their many attributes! So don’t prune them yet; instead just remove the dead blooms for now. Then later in December when the blooming finally stops, cut back the top 1/3 or so just to tidy them up. A heavier pruning for size control and balanced groupings can be performed early next spring around March.
For your Crape Myrtles, you can go ahead and cut back them back lightly, about 20% or so now. Pruning more than that can leave the crape myrtle vulnerable to the upcoming winter weather. Then early next spring (not too late in spring, or you’ll reduce summer flowering) you can cut them back again to whatever size you wish. On the other hand, the sucker type shoots on the lower trunks can be pruned off anytime of the year if you wish to make them look more like multi trunk trees which is the way we love them!