Hi. I just saw your article about crape myrtle bushes in the Sunday paper, and I have a question you didn't cover in your article. I've had a crape myrtle for the past three or four years. It bloomed the first year and hasn't since. The foliage is lovely and the bush has grown fuller every year but no flowers. I gave it the same things I give my azaleas and rhodies, but no blooms. I even tried some bone meal, which works when other things don't. Do you have any suggestions? -- Kathy Castoro
Hi, Kathy. Usually when crape myrtles aren't blooming, it's because they're not getting enough sunlight. They really need full sun. If the plant is in or near a fertilized lawn, then the nitrogen applied to the grass also could be to blame. And I wouldn't fertilize them with azalea food. Typically, crape myrtles don't need fertilizer applications, and I worry that products intended for azaleas and rhododendrons -- ericaceous plants that require acidic soil to perform well -- could be lowering the pH too much for the crape myrtle.