Razzle Dazzle Cherry - Crape Myrtle



Crape Myrtle Trees

Advertisement

Crape Myrtle 'Dynamite' bloomWhen was the last time you saw a dead crape myrtle? It's amazing, isn't it? As long as we've been involved in the field of horticulture we've yet to see a dead crape myrtle. When we consider the durability and outstanding beauty of the crape myrtle we will have discovered the reason why some gardeners and horticulturists consider it to be the flowering tree of the South.

The crape myrtle is, of course, no stranger to Southern gardens. Most people who are the least bit familiar with landscape plants will recognize and accurately identify a crape myrtle. That's because they are so attractive and so very widely used in residential, urban and rural landscapes. Very few trees compare with the flower color and longevity of bloom period, and all at a time of year when it's blazing hot in the South. But the blooms aren't all. Many crape myrtle stems are also attractively adorned with a unique exfoliating (shedding) bark displaying patches of gray, white, and rust to cinnamon brown underbark.

Crape myrtle grows in a wide range of soil types but prefers a well-drained site. They grow in heavy clay soil so long as thay aren't planted in soils that don't drain well. It's best to plant them in full sun for best performance. Some shade will be tolerated, but flowering will likely be reduced.

The list of crape myrtle cultivars to choose from is a long one and ever-growing. Flower colors include white and various shades of pink, lavender, red and purple. Days in flower range from 75 to 110 depending on the variety.

When choosing a crape myrtle, consider selecting one with a flower color that will be complimentary to the surrounding landscape and with a mature size that won't outgrow its location. For example, the ever popular white flowering, 'Natchez' or the lavender flowering 'Muskogee' , really look good against a dark background. These two varieties are among the tallest with mature height of twenty feet or more with an equal spread, making them suitable for use as a mid-size tree for framing in a two-story homes and other taller structures. Others, such as 'Tonto', are among the more compact semi-dwarfs and can be used to frame in single-level homes or structures. When planting crape myrtles around the home think about color. For instance, if you have a dark red brick home, pink or white flowering crape myrtle may be the best choice as a dark red may blend in too much. If you have a light orange to pink brick home ,white, lavender or red flowers usually work well. A neutral color home, such as tan or grey will contrast nicely with about any color of crape myrtle flowers.

When looking for crape myrtles, keep in mind that the 'Fauriei Hybrids' (with the native American Indian tribal names) are the best. They are all powdery mildew resistant, unlike most of the older varieties, and also sport some very attractive shedding bark.The Faurieii Hybrids are also known to have some of the best leaf coloration in the fall as the green gives way to burgundy, orange, red and yellow!


Caring for Crape Myrtles

Crape myrtle is very versatile and easy to grow. Maintenance requirements are few and include moderate fertilization and annual pruning. That's just about all that is necessary to keep crape myrtle looking good.

Pruning: Every year we see crape myrtles that are pruned too early and pruned too far back. There is a better way to prune them. For detailed pruning instructions go to Pruning Crape Myrtles.


Here's a listing of the most popular Crape Myrtle Trees

Crape Myrtle 'Natchez' (Fauriei Hybrid)'Natchez - Crape Myrtle 'Natchez' features large, white flower clusters for up to 100 days during Summer! Upright, broad, weeping canopy to 25' tall and 20 ' wide. The large, oblong, dark green leaves turn to red and orange in Fall and contrast nicely with the cinnamon-colored bark...more details about Crape Myrtle 'Natchez'




Crape Myrtle 'Muskogee' (Fauriei Hybrid)'Muskogee - Crape Myrtle 'Muskogee' features large, light lavender flower clusters for up to 100 days during Summer! Upright, broad, weeping canopy to 25' tall and 20 ' wide. The large, oblong, dark green leaves turn to red and orange in Fall and contrast nicely with the tan to gray bark...more details about Crape Myrtle 'Muskogee'




Crape Myrtle 'Tuscarora' (Fauriei Hybrid)'Tuscarora - Crape Myrtle 'Tuscarora' features large, deep pink (watermelon-color) flower clusters for up to 100 days during Summer! Upright, broad, weeping canopy to 16 to 20' tall and 12-16' wide. The large, dark green leaves turn to red and orange in Fall and contrast nicely with the...more details about Crape Myrtle 'Tuscarora'




Crape Myrtle 'Tonto' (Fauriei Hybrid)'Tonto - Crape Myrtle 'Tonto' features and abundance of large, deep pink (watermelon-red) flower clusters for up to 100 days during Summer! Upright, broad, rounded canopy to 10' tall and 6 to 8' wide. The dark green leaves turn to deep maroon in Fall and contrast nicely with the...more details about Crape Myrtle 'Tonto'




Crape Myrtle 'Arapaho' (Fauriei Hybrid)Arapaho - Crape Myrtle 'Arapaho' features an abundance of large, true-red flower clusters for up to 100 days during Summer! Upright, broad, rounded canopy to 12 to 20' tall and 8 to 16' wide. The dark green leaves turn to deep maroon in Fall and contrast nicely with the tan bark. Usef...more details about Crape Myrtle 'Arapaho'




Crape Myrtle 'Sioux' (Fauriei Hybrid)Sioux - Crape Myrtle 'Sioux' features an abundance of large, intense pink flower clusters for up to 100 days during Summer! Upright, broad, rounded canopy 10 to 16' tall and 8 to 12' wide. The dark green leaves turn to deep purple and red in Fall and contrast nicely with the...more details about Crape Myrtle 'Sioux'




Crape Myrtle 'Catawba' (Fauriei Hybrid)Catawba - Crape Myrtle 'Catawba' features an abundance of large, purple flower clusters for up to 100 days during Summer! Upright, broad, rounded canopy 12 to 20' tall and 8 to 12' wide. The dark green leaves turn to burgundy and red in Fall and contrast nicely with the exfoliating...more details about Crape Myrtle 'Catawba'




Crape Myrtle 'Dynamite'Dynamite - Crape Myrtle 'Dynamite' features an abundance of large, true-red flower clusters for up to 100 days during Summer! Upright, broad, rounded canopy to 12 to 20' tall and 8 to 16' wide. The dark green leaves turn to orange and red in Fall and contrast nicely with the exfoliating...more details about Crape Myrtle 'Dynamite'




Weeping Crape Myrtle 'Acoma' (Fauriei Hybrid)Acoma - Crape Myrtle 'Acoma' features an abundance of pure white flower clusters for up to 100 days during Summer! Grows into a broad, weeping shrub or can be limbed up to form a small attractive tree 6 to 10' high and 8 to 10' wide. 'Acoma' is highly recommended for its interesting creamy...more details about Crape Myrtle 'Acoma'




SEE ALSO:

Instruction for Planting a Tree

Use the site search at the top of any page on the website to find all of the Crape Myrtle Plant Files or other articles pertaining to Crape Myrtles on the webiste. Simply type in "crape" or "crape myrtle."

Featured Wilson Bros Plants

Most Popular Plants

Creeping Gardenia (Dwarf)   Crape Myrtle 'Dynamite'   Boxwood 'Harland Dwarf'   Japanese Red Maple 'Bloodgood' (Hybrid)   Berkman's Golden Arborvitae   'Canyon Creek' Abelia   Variegated Privet   Calisto Indian Hawthorne - Raphiolepis   Black Knight Butterfly Bush   Frost Proof Gardenia   Nandina 'Firepower'   Crape Myrtle 'Tonto' (Fauriei Hybrid)   Asian Jasmine (Asiatic Jasmine)   'Jack Frost' Ligustrum (Wax Leaf Privet)   Lemon Scented Geranium - (Mosquito Plant)   Confederate Rose Hibiscus   Chrysanthemums - Hardy Garden Mums   Flowering Cabbage Plants   Sonset Lantana   Fescue Grass - Tall Turf-Type   Viburnum Summer Snowflake   Gold Lace Juniper   Loropetalum 'Ever Red Sunset'   Gardenia 'Jubilation'   Blue Mist Shrub - Caryopteris 'Longwood Blue'   Hardy Banana Tree 'Japanese Fiber'   Blue Star Creeper   Carolina Sapphire Cypress (Arizona Cypress)   Arp Rosemary   Loropetalum 'Purple Diamond'   Burning Bush (Dwarf Winged Euonymus)   Barberry 'Crimson Pygmy'   Cleyera Japonica (Japanese Cleyera)   Tea Olive (Fragrant Osmanthus)   Magnolia 'Little Gem' (Dwarf Southern Magnolia)   Loropetalum 'Purple Pixie'   Carissa Holly   Boxwood 'Wintergreen' (Korean Boxwood)   Compacta Holly (Japanese Holly)   Golden Euonymus   Loropetalum 'Plum Delight'   Arborvitae Emerald Green   Gold Mound Spirea   Fragrant Orange Tea Olive   Variegated Pittosporum   Dwarf Yaupon Holly 'Bordeaux'   Crape Myrtle 'Acoma' (Fauriei Hybrid)   Aucuba 'Gold Dust'   Barberry 'Rosy Glow'   Cryptomeria 'Globosa Nana' (Dwarf Cryptomeria)   Indian Hawthorn 'Snow White'   Loropetalum 'Emerald Snow'   Indian Hawthorn Tree 'Rosalinda' (Rahiolepis)   Kaleidoscope Abelia   Magnolia 'Ann' (Tulip Tree)   Daisy Gardenia - Kleim's Hardy Gardenia   Creeping Yew (Prostrate Japanese Plum Yew)