The crepe myrtles are among the most agreeable of plants for the South: pompous summer blossoms, alluring bark, and (much of the time) splendid fall shading make them all year garden entertainers. Long, cool pre-winters yield the best leaf show; unexpected ices following warm, sticky fall climate regularly freeze leaves while they’re despite everything green, demolishing the show.
Most crepe myrtles in gardens are choices of L. indica or half and halves of that species with L. fauriei. The last species has pulled in much notification for its strength and especially garish bark. Sovereign’s crepe myrtle, L. speciosa, becomes just in the Tropical South.
Crepe Myrtle Care
All crepe myrtles sprout on new wood and ought to be pruned in winter or late-winter. On enormous bushes and trees, expel basal suckers, twiggy development, crossing branches, and branches developing toward the focal point of the plant. Additionally, step by step expel side branches up to a stature of 4–5 ft.; this uncovered the attractive bark of the trunks. During the developing season, cut off spent blossoms to advance a second, lighter sprout. Additionally prune predominate structures intermittently all through the developing season, expelling spent blooms and dispersing little, twiggy development.
Crepe myrtles are not for the most part perused by deer. Types of Crepe Myrtle Trees
Japanese Crepe Myrtle
L. fauriei. Local to Japan. Tree to 20–30 ft. tall and wide, with an erect propensity and outward-angling branches. Light green leaves to 4 in. long and 2 in. wide turn yellow in fall. Particularly attractive bark: the smooth dark external bark drops away to uncover shiny cinnamon earthy colored bark underneath. Little white blossoms are borne in 2-to
4-in.- long bunches in late-spring; regularly blossoms again in pre-fall. Impervious to buildup and most popular as a parent of tough, mold-safe mixtures with L. indica, however it is attractive in its own right. ‘Dream’, with much showier bark than the species, has a jar form―narrow underneath, spreading above. ‘Kiowa’ has remarkable cinnamon-hued bark.
Indica Crepe Myrtle
L. indica. The head summer-blooming tree of the South. Endures heat, dampness, dry season; does well in many soils as long as they are very much depleted. Maybe solidified to the ground in serious winters in the Upper South, however, will resprout. Cultivators, there should plant cold-strong choices, for example, ‘Acoma’, ‘Centennial Soul’, and ‘Hopi’. Variable in size (a few structures are predominate bushes, others huge bushes or little trees) and propensity (spreading or upstanding). Dim green leaves are 1–2 1/2 in. long and to some degree smaller, as a rule, colored red when new; they frequently turn splendid orange or red in fall. Crinkled, crepe-papery, 1-to 1/2-in.- wide blossoms in white or shades of pink, red, or purple are conveyed in thick bunches.
Prepared as a tree, it builds up an alluring trunk and branch design. Smooth dark or light earthy colored bark strips off to uncover smooth, pinkish internal bark; winter trunk and branches appear to be cleaned. The buildup can be an issue. Splash with triforce (Funginex) before plants blossom, or develop buildup safe half breeds of L. indica and L. fauriei. Practically all choices with names of Local American clans, for example, ‘Hopi’, ‘Miami’, and ‘Zuni’, are buildup safe.
Sovereign’s Crepe Myrtle
L. speciosa. Zones TS; 12–9. Tree to 25–30 ft. tall, 15–25 ft. wide. The showiest and generally delicate of the crepe myrtles, showing enormous bunches of white, pink, lavender, or purple blossoms in June and July. Singular blooms arrive at 3 in. over. Enormous leaves (8–12 in. long, 4 in. wide) turn red in fall. Smooth, mottled, shedding bark. Rank cultivator; yearly pruning in winter is particularly imperative to control size and structure.
Crepe Myrtle Pruning Tips
When pruning a crepe myrtle, don’t leave your huge crepe myrtles down to appalling stubs each spring in light of the fact that your neighbors do. This demolishes the regular structure and empowers the development of spindly, whip like branches that are too frail to even consider holding up the blossoms. To lessen a crepe myrtle’s tallness, use hand pruners or loppers to abbreviate the highest branches by 2–3 ft. in pre-spring, continually curtailing to a side branch or bud. For branches more than 2 in. thick, consistently slice back to the groin or trunk. Try not to leave large, terrible stubs.