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Can You Put Coffee Grounds on Crepe Myrtles?

Can You Put Coffee Grounds on Crepe Myrtles

Crepe myrtles are beautiful flowering trees that have a few specific soil requirements necessary for its ability to thrive. It can’t be too nutrient-rich, alkaline or wet. However, it does require a certain amount of fertilizer and acidity along with moisture. So, when you want to grow one of these, you should know what’s appropriate to give the tree.

Coffee grounds seem to be a popular option but are coffee grounds good for crepe myrtle trees? Yes, they can be excellent for them. However, it depends on the local soil makeup of the spot in which it sits. If you already have the required 6.0 to 6.5 pH balance, then coffee grounds aren’t necessary.

Having said that, you will have to provide some kind of fertilizer to ensure the roots receive adequate nutrition. Even though crepe myrtles aren’t terribly difficult to care for, they do have certain preferences gardeners should observe. So, it’s wise to study up on their native habitat in Southeastern Asia to ensure you simulate these conditions.

How Do You Use Coffee Grounds on Crepe Myrtle Trees?

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There are several methods in which to administer coffee grounds on crepe myrtle trees. But first, you should get a soil test kit to determine if coffee grounds are going to be beneficial. If the soil maintains an acidity reading of 6.0 to 6.5, you won’t need coffee grounds.

To check the current price and availability of the My Soil Test Kit, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

Treating Alkaline Soil With Coffee Grounds

However, if your soil is alkaline, meaning it has a pH of 7.0 or higher, then coffee grounds will be an excellent thing to use. Depending on how far above 6.5 your soil is, you have some options. So, it’s also good to get a read on the soil’s nutrient makeup as well.

You can mix some coffee grounds into the spot prior to planting the tree along with fertilizer specifically designed for crepe myrtles. If you do it this way, you only have to add grounds if the tree seems to need it. This method is good for extremely alkaline soil, ranging beyond 7.5.

Your other option is to add used coffee grounds after planting the crepe myrtle. You’ll do this about once per week. When doing it this way, you will have to add enough to accommodate the size of the tree. But, this is excellent for soils that are only a scant alkaline than what the tree prefers.

What Is the Best Fertilizer for Crepe Myrtles?

The best fertilizer you can use on crepe myrtle trees is one that’s low in nitrogen but high in phosphorous. It should be specifically for crepe myrtles and feature a granular time release, not a liquid. However, there are soil spikes for these trees that can provide a bit more phosphorous.

Ideally, you want an NPK ratio (nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium) of 10-10-10 or 10-15-9. But, if you’re hoping for big, beautiful blooms, then it should be high in phosphorous, like one with an 8-55-7 NPK ratio. If you want to lower extremely high alkaline soil, then finding one with sulfur will be perfect.

However, if you only have soil that’s slightly alkaline, some bone meal could be ideal. It’s organic, chemical-free and has an NPK ratio of 6-8-0. This is rich in calcium and is a safe alternative to manufactured fertilizers.

How and When Do You Use Fertilizer for Crepe Myrtles?

There are three instances to administer fertilizer for a crepe myrtle tree: prior to planting, at the start of spring and once more in early summer. But, you will have to use your best judgment in relationship to the soil’s acidity. Too much fertilizer or too little can cause the tree to suffer.

Using Fertilizer to Prep the Soil

When preparing the soil for planting, you can mix in some fertilizer along with some coffee grounds. Then water the soil well and allow the moisture to disperse evenly. Once it’s moist but not sopping wet, plant the tree.

Fertilizing during the Growing Season

In the case of fertilizing in early spring and summer, you sprinkle the fertilizer around the base of the tree. The amount you should give will vary depending on the manufacturer. In general, though, you will give about one cup of fertilizer per 100 square feet of soil.

Watering in Combination with Fertilizer

You can give fertilizer before it’s going to rain or water it immediately after the treatment. Ensure you give one to two inches of water to help the fertilizer release its nutrients into the soil. The soil should be moist and well-draining. Crepe myrtles cannot tolerate waterlogged soil, since it succumbs to root rot easily.

Encouraging a Second Bloom

To promote a second bloom, you will deadhead the flowers after the first spring display. Deadheading simply means you remove dead flowers rather than allow them to dieback on the branch. Once you do this, you can apply another light sprinkle of fertilizer. It’s best to do this after midsummer up to late summer.

Final Thoughts

Giving coffee grounds to a crepe myrtle tree is a good thing to do, but you do have to be particular about it. This will heavily rely on the composition of the soil it rests in. So, it’s advisable to test the soil to ensure it has the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK) along with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5

If you have the ideal conditions, then coffee grounds aren’t quite necessary. However, you may want to offer some on sparse occasions. Regardless, coffee is an excellent way to provide a bit of acidity to soil that’s a little alkaline. But, if your soil has a pH of 7.0 or higher, coffee grounds along with other types of fertilizer will be crucial.

As long as you care for your crepe myrtle with the appropriate nutrients and soil conditions it requires, you’ll have a big beautiful tree with heart-melting blossoms. Remember, you can deadhead the spent flowers and encourage a second bloom in late summer.

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