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Prune crape myrtles for beauty

The daffodils are starting to show their cheerful, yellow faces, a sure sign that spring is on its way. For the next two to three months, each week will bring new surprises in the garden, so quickly that we will find it difficult keep pace with the ever-changing riot of color and fragrance. Before we know it, summer will arrive with its own special beauties, the graceful crape myrtles with their masses of blossoms in shades of pink, red, purple, or white.

Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is not a native North American tree, but from the hundreds of thousands of brightly flowered trees blooming across the southern United States every summer, you would think they have always been here. Crape myrtle, also spelled crepe myrtle and crapemyrtle, was first introduced to North America from Asia in the 18th century and rapidly gained popularity as a garden ornamental.

L. indica cultivars are prone to powdery mildew and other fungal diseases and cold hardy only to USDA Hardiness Zones ...

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