Transplanting Your Crepe Myrtle

April 17, 2008 | By | Comments (109)

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. Steve Bender


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

    March 16, 2015 at 2:21 pm
  2. 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
  3. Steve Bender


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

    December 24, 2014 at 9:21 am
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Debbie Kosta

    Thank you. I will wait until the fall…

    July 31, 2014 at 6:25 pm
  8. 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
  9. 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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