Plant Characteristics

Common Name – Crape/Crepe Myrtle

Botanical Name – Lagerstroemia speciosa

Zone – 10-11

Plant Dimensions and Growth Rate

This large semi-deciduous tree will decorate your garden or yard with its long and large green leaves in the summers. When it flowers, the blossoms will be showy and violet-pink or pink, and produced in clusters. The light brown-grey bark will shed off in large pieces. Moderately fast growing species that becomes 45 feet tall and sport a spread of 35 feet.

Flowers

Flowers are produced in shades of violet-pink and pink.

Foliage

You will observe that the foliage of this tree will start with a reddish tint. However, when it finally unfurls, its large, elongated green leaves will pleasantly surprise you. During spring-summer, the foliage stays green, only to turn into beautiful shades of red and copper during the fall-winter seasons.

Crepe myrtle pink

Care Instructions

Light

Loves growing in the sun, which makes it a perfect plant to be planted in parts of your garden that get full sun exposure. In fact, if not in the spotlight, your myrtle will greatly reduce the amount of flower it produces while full shade will completely prevent blooming.

Soil

These trees will grow best in soils that are rich in nutrients and humusy. Ensure that the soil stays slightly moist and acidic and it will reward your care by looking spectacular! The tree is also tolerant when it comes to dry, infertile, or swampy soils. However, under such conditions, it might fail to produce the lush and robust leafy canopy. Be prepared for sporadic flowering in such situations, as well.

Moisture

Moderately drought tolerant species, which means you, will need to stick to moderate amount of watering.

Pruning

Only prune the crepe myrtles after they have bloomed, shed their first flowers, and go towards setting seed. The seedpods will weigh the limbs down, so they need to go first. As soon as you prune them, you will see new shoots and buds appearing. That means, your plant is preparing for a second bloom. At warmer temperatures, the plants may even go for a third and fourth bloom!

For the multi-trunk crepe myrtle, allow your tree to branch along the length of the stem. For a uniquely beautiful plant, grow multiple colors together!

Fertilizer

In order to keep your crape myrtles happy, you had better feed them with a general-purpose or high-nitrogen fertilizer every year. The best time to apply the fertilizer would be when the spring arrives . You can also use the arrival of foliage on the plant as your guide. A second fertilization, if necessary, should be done two months after the first fertilization. If the tree produces many suckers, they are going to bring insects into your garden and make your myrtle susceptible to diseases. In order to avoid sucker growth, use a slow-release fertilizer. The more fertilizer you add, the more leaves it will produce, putting off flowering until later.

Crepe myrtle

Landscaping Uses

Crape myrtles can be used as lawn specimens in gardens. Keep the tree in a rounded shape when it is young to keep it looking attractive.

Growing Crepe Myrtles in Florida seems quite easy. Well, then what are you waiting for?

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Gallery September 2017