Plant of the Month

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Crape Myrtle
Lagerstroemia indica

  • Plant Form: Deciduous tree, shrub
  • Water Use: Low, moderate
  • Mature Size: 2-22 ft. tall and wide
  • Exposure: Full sun, part sun
  • Bloom Time: Summer (June-Aug), Fall (Sept-Nov)
  • Native to: China
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 15°F

Crape Myrtles are a versatile tree or shrub that brings interest to your yard, especially in summer and fall. Pick from a variety of summer flower colors, including white, pink, rose, red, or purple, all of which make great cut bouquets. Fall brings a flush of colorful foliage before winter leaf drop, which exposes attractive sculptural branching. Happy to live in a container, there is a size and height of Crape Myrtle to fit your individual space.

Crape Myrtle’s claim to fame is its incredibly showy, ruffled flowers, but it has many other admirable qualities. This ornamental shrub or tree offers year-round interest: flowers from summer into fall, fall foliage color, sculptural branching in winter after leaves drop when allowed to grow naturally, and interesting exfoliating bark, revealing a velvety trunk. Many hybrids are available to satisfy a spectrum of needs and preferences for size, height, and blossom color, from knee-high dwarfs to towering shrub-tree forms. These deciduous plants are very low-maintenance if you select the correct variety to fit your space (to avoid constant pruning, which some call “crape murder”). Flower colors range from white to pink, rose, red, and purple. Crape Myrtles are resistant to both rabbits and deer, tolerate most soils, grow well in containers, make great flowers for cutting, are patio friendly, easy-care, water wise and fire wise. Landscape uses include privacy screens, hedges, specimen trees, mass plantings, borders, and containers.

   

Check out our “Garden Tasks” for June