Crape Myrtle

Posted by on May 29, 2009 at 11:27 am.
Sam's Purple Crape Myrtle

Sam's Purple Crape Myrtle

Crape Myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) are slow growing flowering trees or shrubs native to China.  They come in all colors… pink, red, white, purple.  OK, so there is not yellow, orange or blue there, but that is still an impressive array of colors, don’t you think?  And they bloom all summer and on into the fall – even in our Texas heat and drought conditions.  They like to be in full sun and some varieties can get quite tall – 25 feet.  There are also dwarf varieties, but don’t get a tall one and try to make it stay small.

Crape Myrtles have gorgeous trunks.  As they age, the bark peels off to reveal beautiful smooth skin that really shows up when they are bare in the winter.

The only problem with these trees is that they do succumb to mildew.  Spring is hard on them for that reason, but they respond very well to foliar feeding and baking soda spray.  Well, and then there is the problem of suckers coming up around them, but that is easy to deal with.  You just have to prune the suckers out.

There is an old wives tale that says you should whack the tar out of the poor tree in the winter to get it to produce more flowers in the summer.  Don’t do it.  It doesn’t work, it looks stupid and it’s hard on your tree.  Anyway, the birds love the seed pods and they are pretty through the winter.

This particular crape myrtle is Samantha’s.  We stated a really bad habit when she was little.  Anytime we went to a plant nursery, we let her pick out a flower.  When she was about 3 years old, she saw this tree at Calloways (in a 1 gallon pot) and carried the silly thing through the entire store saying “I can do it!”  It was more than we usually let her spend, but how could we say no to that?

-- Weather When Posted --

  • Temperature: 80°F;
  • Humidity: 40%;
  • Heat Index: 80°F;
  • Wind Chill: 80°F;
  • Pressure: 30.08 in.;


Leave a Reply