08-30-2012 10:15 AM
We have a question about pruning two popular bushes. It came to us on the Apron blog from reader Betsy.
"What is the best time of year to prune Knock Out rose bushes, and Crepe Myrtles? How far back should they be pruned? Thanks!"
I'm a writer and editor for The Home Depot's Apron blog.
08-30-2012 12:15 PM
I'm Grow2girl, from The Home Depot and I am here with my co-worker BostonRoots. Thank you for your question.
It is not necessary to prune a Crepe Myrtle for the health and care of the plant. However, to control the size and shape it can be pruned in late Winter to early Spring. Generally once it had reached it's state of dormancy. Avoid pruning during a growth period and do not prune more than 1/3rd of the plant at a time.
The Knock Out Rose is a lovely plant with stunning "flower power" that can bloom every 5-6 weeks. They are self cleaning and require little maintenance. If you wish to control the size, then the best time to prune them is in late Fall or early Spring. It is best not to prune when they are in bloom.
Enjoy your wonderful blooms!
I’m a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.
09-13-2012 08:28 AM
In warm temperate zones, Knock Out can get to be a large shrub. You can take it back down to 24" or so and thin out any growth that' smaller than a pencil or that crosses and might introduce any wounds to stems. From the third year on, you also need to thin out 1/3 of any of the largest branches all the way back to the base in order to keep them from becoming too woody and overgrown. This will keep the plant producing new flowering wood as long as you keep up the water and feeding regimens.
Please don't commit "crepe murder"! Hacking crepe myrtles back to about 5' is one of the absolute worst "popular" practices that you regularly see. It' s NOT good for the plant, and it doesn't make a very pretty shrub during winter when their peeling bark can add a lot to a dreary winter landscape. Better to let the reach their natural height and just thin a bit to shape.