Crepe Myrtle Plants
Lagerstroemia Indica, or commonly known as the Crepe Myrtle, are trees and shrubs that are in dozens of varieties. Commonly known as the “Lilac of the South,” these plants have grown in the United States for more than 150 years. They appear in a rainbow of colors from purples, pinks, reds, whites, and every shade in between. They range from miniature shrubs to larger trees and grow in many places in the United States. They are fresh, airy, beautiful trees that transform landscapes into fantastic masses of long-blooming flowers from June to October. Once established, the crepe myrtle plant will only flower during a warm, dry summer, and continue to thrive in the hottest of summers. All species are woody, and can grow to over 100’. As a perennial, they grow as far north as New York, and in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Natchez White Myrtle
The Natchez White Myrtle grows 20-30’. It features hundreds of delicate, cooling white flowers that bloom in striking clusters from June to September. It is a best seller because of its ability to bloom throughout the summer. It grows rapidly at 3-5’ a year and is weather tolerant in many climates. The best time to plant is early spring. It has unusual bark coloring on the trunk and stems and has a smooth texture. In the summer, the Natchez white's leaves are a deep green and become a reddish-orange in the fall. They are highly resistant to mildew. However, it is helpful to prune out the branches to promote airflow and reduce the susceptibility to mildew. The best time to prune is in early spring. Natchez white myrtles successfully grow in zones 7-10.
Dynamite Red Crepe Myrtle
The Dynamite Red Crepe Myrtle grows 10-20’ in height. It produces 10-14” cherry red flowers from summer to fall. It features exciting fall leaf colors and a cinnamon bark color. The growth is slower in the winter, and the emerging growth begins again in the spring. Therefore, the best time to plant is in early spring. The dynamite red crepe myrtle is hardy in zones 5 and 6.
Purple Crepe Myrtle
The Purple Crepe Myrtle is a shrub that retains its beautiful color all summer long. It grows 10-20’ in height and spreads 8-10’ in width. The best time to plant these shrubs is in early spring. Its purple flowering appears in large clusters at the tips of its branches. The leaves are bronze in the spring and then transition to green in the summer months. The purple crepe myrtle is hardy in zones are 7-9.
Pink Crepe Myrtle
The Pink Crepe Myrtle is a beautiful variety of summer flowering shrubs. It features a wonderful shade of pink when it blooms, consuming the new branches. It will continue to bloom all summer long. It grows just over 10’ at maturity and thrives when planted in early spring. Its bark ranges in color from brown to gray. These flowering shrubs are beautiful as hedges and look attractive when planted with ground cover plants. The pink crepe myrtle is hardy in zones 6-8.
With such variety and colors of these deciduous plants, the possibilities are endless when deciding where to place these beautiful low maintenance shrubs and trees. It is important to research to select the best species for your zone and ensure that are property placed to create a distinctive focal point.