This step by step guide with pictures shows how to save crepe myrtle seeds from these beautiful ornamental trees. This is a great way to create a mass planting along a driveway or fence line without having to spend a thing.
A small tree with attractive bark, the crepe myrtle will flower from summer through to the fall (autumn). The stunning flowers form in clusters which have a crepe paper like texture with frilled edges.
In late fall (autumn) the leaves turn a beautiful shade of yellow to orange and even red in some varieties giving you a true sense of the seasons. They will grow up to 13 feet (4m) tall with dwarf varieties also available.
Crepe myrtles are tolerant of many growing conditions however they don’t like to be waterlogged. Powdery mildew can be a problem in older varieties however newer varieties are mildew resistant.
Saving Crepe Myrtle Seeds
Crepe myrtle seeds are easy to collect. It is important to remember that the seed from some hybrids may not be true to the parent plant.
Flowers are picked either from the tree or from the ground underneath. It is best to collect dried flower pods from crepe myrtle trees in your local park by picking them off the ground.
The flower pods which still have dried petals attached should not have released their seed.
The best time to collect crepe myrtle seeds is after the tree has finished flowering and the flowers have dried on the tree in the fall (autumn).
Crepe myrtle seeds will be viable for at least 2 years with their germination rate going down after that time. Always store seeds in a cool, dark and dry place.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Airtight Container or Bag – This top rated pack of 25 Mini Mason Jars come with chalkboard labels and will look beautiful in your pantry. (Paid link)
How to save crepe myrtle seeds.
- Pick the Dried Flowers
First wait until the flowers have dried then pick them from the stem. The seed will be at the base of the flower.
- Leave to Completely Dry
Place in an open container then leave in an area with good air circulation for a few weeks to completely dry.
- Open the Flower Pod
Next remove the dried flower then peel open the dried pod. The seed will be in the centre.
- Remove the Seed
Place the seed on a plate then discard the rest.
- Label and Store
After you have removed all the seeds, place in an airtight container or bag then secure. Label with the contents and the date collected. Store in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
Condiment jars are the perfect size for storing seeds. You just need to make sure the lids fit tight and wash out thoroughly with warm soapy water, rinse then leave to completely dry before using.
These reusable Chalkboard Labels with a free pen are waterproof and a great option for using on seed jars while reducing waste. They are highly rated and great value on Amazon. (Paid link)
The winter months is the perfect time to prune your crepe myrtle tree. This guide to Pruning Crepe Myrtle Trees is a great place to start.
Are you interested in getting more value out of your home and garden? This Homesteading guide covers everything from DIY projects to preserving your own food.
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