The Messy Reason Crepe Myrtle Trees And Pool Can't Coexist

Crepe myrtles add gorgeous color and texture to the landscape, and pools provide hours of fun and relaxation. But these two summer staples don't pair well; in fact, you may regret placing crepe myrtles around your pool. 

Though it may sound nice to swim by a beautiful flowering tree, those flowers have to fall and land somewhere eventually, and it will inevitably be your crystal clear pool. The mess crepe myrtles create is a huge hidden downside to these gorgeous trees, and if you don't want to spend your summer preventing or cleaning up the mess, you should skip putting them so close to your pool. With that said, pools and crepe myrtles can still look pretty together if you're willing to put in the work. 

Plan on pruning the trees often throughout the summer to prevent the flowers from falling. The petals may blow off the plant on a windy day, so keep your pool covered when you're not using it, and have a net ready to fish petals out of the water while you're swimming. If this doesn't sound like summer fun to you, consider planting trees that finish blooming in the spring long before your pool is ready to enjoy, like hawthorns or dogwoods.

Pruning encourages crepe myrtles to flower

Crepe myrtle trees are as strong as they are pretty. They're drought-tolerant and don't require any pruning, and they'll reward you with a fluffy pop of color every year if they're happy. They're perfect for open areas like large lawns or near pathways because they can drop their flowers freely. They're a little annoying next to a pool, however. Pruning is often used to control the growth of plants, but for crepe myrtles, it typically encourages the plant to grow more flowers.

Flowers appear on new wood, and pruning encourages new wood. If you prune off new wood to discourage growth, you'll be disappointed, as you'll see lots of new growth instead. Even pruning in late summer can encourage the plant to keep growing. Removing spent flowers may encourage new flowers to form as well. The only way to stop a crepe myrtle from flowering often is to give it too much sunlight, not enough water, and stop pruning it altogether.

How to stop crepe myrtle blooms from falling in the pool

If you're trying to make the most of an existing crepe-myrtles-by-the-pool situation, there are a few things you can do to keep the water as clean as possible. For starters, keeping your pool covered will save you a lot of cleaning time and will allow you to enjoy a thriving crepe myrtle tree as it showers the ground with its petals. Choose a cover that you can clean easily since it will likely be covered in blooms all season long.

Remove crepe myrtle flowerheads before they begin dropping petals, but keep in mind that this will encourage new growth and flowers. Preventative measures will require consistent pruning, but if you can make it into a daily or weekly habit, you should be able to keep up with the plant and prevent yourself from doing a lot of sweeping. Lastly, remember to keep pruning shears, a broom, and a pool net on standby to make the cleaning process easier.