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How to Prevent Crape Myrtle Suckers

By Melissa Lewis

Crape myrtles grow in several forms, including from single or multiple trunks, or as large or medium sized trees. What is common to most crape myrtles are the vigorous suckers that the produce. Suckers typically grow from the trunk, sometimes originating underground. They use up valuable energy that the crape myrtles would otherwise use to grow and bloom. Trimming off the suckers diligently is a good idea, but another option is to go one step further and prevent any future suckers from growing.

Prune off crape myrtle suckers as soon as they appear. You can do this any time of year.

Cut the crape myrtle suckers right where they are growing from the trunk, even if it’s underground -- do a little digging. Make clean sharp cuts so the cuts are straight and even with the trunk where they originated.

Apply a product labeled to prevent suckers from growing on crape myrtle trees. They are labeled as plant growth regulator and have the active ingredient napthaleneacetate,(NAA), also called naphthalene acetic acid. Spray the product on and around the wounds where the suckers were cut from the crape myrtle.


Things You Will Need

  • Hand clippers
  • Plant growth regulator


  • Remove and treat suckers before they reach 10 inches tall for greater success.

About the Author


Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.