Transplanting Your Crepe Myrtle

April 17, 2008 | By | Comments (118)

Q: How big of a root ball needs to be dug to transplant a crepe myrtle? I have one that is an off-shoot of a larger tree…the one I want to transplant is now about 10 feet tall, but has few side branches. I would like to miove it to my back yard, but am not sure if I can dig a rootball that is large enough….also can I do it this time of year?? Thanks in advance. – Patricia

A: Now is a good time to transplant a crepe myrtle. Yours doesn’t sound too big for you to handle, but if a couple of burly, good-looking guys bearing a strong resemblance to Matt Damon offer to help, I wouldn’t turn them down. The trick is digging a root ball that’s 2-3 feet in diameter and at least a foot deep so the plant comes away with enough roots to grow. Dig when the soil is moist, so the soil will stick to the roots. After you and Matt lift the plant from the hole, place the root ball on a tarp that you can slide easily over the ground to the new destination. Plant the crepe myrtle so that the top of the root ball is even with the soil surface and then water thoroughly. Finally, tell Matt I really like his “Bourne” movies and hope he’ll let me be in the next one. Grumpy


  1. Grumpy Gardener

    Wait to move it until after it has dropped its leaves in fall.

    August 11, 2016 at 10:44 am
  2. Carla Jarrell

    I planted a crepe myrtle two years ago and it loves where it is. It has flourished and is beautiful. My husband is upset because he thinks it is too close to our house. We are in Nashville so what time of year would you suggest for moving it?

    August 6, 2016 at 6:10 pm
  3. Steve Bender


    Whenever you move a large crepe myrtle, you leave live roots in the ground. These roots then send up shoots that will grow into new plants. I wouldn’t transplant any now in summer, because it’s too hot. Wait until after they’ve lost their leaves in fall. Then pick out the shoots you want to move and dig them up.

    July 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm
  4. Vicki

    Last year we transplanted a large mature crepe. This spring / summer I have noticed new shoots (about 2 ft long) growing all over the bed where the crepe once was. I don’t want them there since they are random and in the way of the plants I put in it’s place, but I’d like to move them all to one place. Someone mentioned pulling them and transplanting to a large pot for now. I’m really new to crepe transplanting and haven’t had the best success. Any thoughts on how to keep them alive and help them collectively grow? Please be specific…. I’m a beginner on this. Lol

    July 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm
  5. Sandy

    can u take a clipping off of a crepe myrtle and set it in water will roots grow on it so I can plant it.

    July 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm
  6. Steve Bender


    It’s too warm to transplant now. Wait until the fall.

    May 15, 2015 at 3:20 pm
  7. Steve Bender


    It should leaf out by mid-May. If it doesn’t, you might have a problem.

    May 15, 2015 at 3:20 pm
  8. Amanda

    Steve – I live in TN and I have a crepe myrtle that has a baby cm tree next to it. It is about 9 feet tall. I want to give it to my dad – can I do this now or should I wait? Thanks!

    May 13, 2015 at 12:52 pm
  9. KB

    How long does a NJ transplanted crape myrtle take to leaf out?

    May 5, 2015 at 6:38 am
  10. Steve Bender


    There is only one thing more you can do for this tree. Pray.

    March 16, 2015 at 2:21 pm
  11. courtney

    I was recently given a large old crape myrtle that was removed from one place and placed on the edge of a pond. The tree was not planted in the ground, just set into the pond and tied to a deck. I pulled it out of the water and planted it into my yard. The roots appear to be strong and are very hard, even though there was no “root ball” consisting of roots and soil when I removed and planted it into the ground. I did put a tree fertilizer stake a few inches in the ground away from the roots and watered it very well. Was there anything else that I should have done before planting it? I hope it survives!!

    March 13, 2015 at 4:34 pm
  12. Steve Bender


    Now is an excellent time. Really, any time before they leaf out.

    December 24, 2014 at 9:21 am
  13. Joe

    I need to move about 6 crepe myrtle in our church yard here in Florida. When would be a good time? They have been in the ground maybe 2 years.

    December 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm
  14. Steve Bender


    Althea is hardy in Colorado, but crepe myrtle is not. You can send them now or in early spring.

    November 13, 2014 at 9:19 am
  15. annn f

    I want to send my daughter in Co. a Crepe Myrtle and a Athia from my yard in Virginia and I don’t know when thyey are dorment. can I send them yet in Virginia?

    November 10, 2014 at 6:33 am
  16. Debbie Kosta

    Thank you. I will wait until the fall…

    July 31, 2014 at 6:25 pm
  17. Steve Bender


    If you can to move them now, you’ll probably kill them. Wait until after they drop their leaves in fall.

    July 31, 2014 at 12:53 pm
  18. Debbie Kosta

    I have two Crape Myrtles that are 12 years old, I want to up root them and replant to a new house that I am moving into. I live in Northern California in a small town named Red Bluff. Can I move these and replant them and is now a good time to do so. What do I need to do to make this happen. Thank you for your time.

    July 22, 2014 at 8:28 pm

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