Crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) are beautiful shrubs and timber that present year-round curiosity. Initially native to Southern Asia, crepe myrtles have grow to be naturalized within the Southern United States. On this article, I’ll share my expertise on rising and caring for crepe myrtles.
About Crepe Myrtle
Household & Genus
Crepe myrtles belong to the Lagerstroemia genus inside the loosestrife household (Lythraceae). Though they’re referred to as ‘myrtles’, crepe myrtles aren’t associated to the Myrtus genus. There are roughly 50 species inside the Lagerstroemia genus. The widespread crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is without doubt one of the most widespread species.
Crepe myrtles are initially native to components of Southern Asia, similar to China, Japan, Korea, and the Indian Subcontinent. They’re additionally indigenous to components of Australia and the Oceania area. Crepe myrtles have been launched to the US in 1786 and shortly grew to become naturalized within the Southern states.
Crepe myrtles are deciduous or evergreen shrubs or timber identified for his or her beautiful flowers. As well as, they’ve stunning peeling brown, grey, and pink bark. Crepe myrtles grow to be single or multi-trunk timber or shrubs.
In the course of the summer season, crepe myrtles produce panicles of pink, purple, purple, or white flowers. The flowers have crinkly, crepe-like petals and launch a refined perfume. As such, the crepe myrtle is commonly referred to as the “lilac of the South”. The flowers final all through the summer season and into the autumn.
That means & Symbolism
Crepe myrtles are strongly related to love and are an emblem of marriage. In addition they symbolize magnificence, good luck, and longevity. Crepe myrtles have additionally grow to be symbolic of the South regardless of not being a local plant.
Makes use of & Advantages
Crepe myrtles are primarily used as decorative crops, particularly in Southern gardens. Crepe myrtles are generally utilized in landscaping, notably in parks and on sidewalks.
How Tall, Extensive, and Quick Do Crepe Myrtles Develop?
Crepe myrtles can develop between 20 and 30 ft tall and roughly 10 to fifteen ft extensive. Dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties are additionally obtainable, starting from 2 to six ft tall. Crepe myrtles are fast-growing shrubs that may add as much as 3 ft of latest development yearly.
Find out how to Develop and Take care of Crepe Myrtle
The place and Find out how to Plant Crepe Myrtles
Crepe myrtles like heat, humid situations in USDA Zones 6 to 9. Nevertheless, crepe myrtles can survive chilly winters if temperatures don’t drop beneath -5ºF. Whereas cold-hardy crepe myrtles can develop in Zone 6, most cultivars desire Zones 7 to 9.
Plant crepe myrtles in sunny, open areas. As soon as established, crepe myrtles are pretty warmth and drought-tolerant. Crepe myrtles thrive in most well-draining soils.
The very best occasions to plant crepe myrtles are in the course of the fall or early spring. Dig a gap that’s twice as extensive and the identical depth because the pot that your crepe myrtle got here in. Place the crepe myrtle in order that the highest of the basis ball sits simply above the extent of the opening.
Crepe myrtles thrive in full solar and want 6 hours of direct daylight every day. If a crepe myrtle receives an excessive amount of shade, it could battle to provide flowers. South or west-facing facets are perfect for crepe myrtles as they supply direct solar all through the day.
Crepe myrtles tolerate most varieties of soils however do want a number of drainage. Crepe myrtles desire barely acidic soils with a pH vary between 5.0 and 6.5. Combine in some grit or sand to stop waterlogged soil in case your soil isn’t well-draining sufficient.
Water newly planted crepe myrtles totally a couple of times every week for the primary two years. This helps them set up a wholesome root system. As soon as established, crepe myrtles are drought-tolerant. Water them as soon as each two weeks except you’ve not too long ago had rainfall.
Fertilize newly planted crepe myrtles as soon as a month throughout their first rising season. After the primary 12 months, fertilize crepe myrtles every year with a slow-release fertilizer in spring. Wait till new leaves have began showing earlier than you feed your crepe myrtle. All the time use a liquid fertilizer that’s diluted in accordance with the packet directions.
Crepe myrtles produce flowers on new development, so pruning them on the unsuitable time can spoil subsequent 12 months’s show. Prune crepe myrtles in the course of the winter or early spring whereas the shrub is dormant. That is one of the best time to form the tree and take away weak or broken branches.
Deadhead fading flowers in the course of the blooming season. Not solely does this preserve your crepe myrtle wanting good, however it may possibly additionally stimulate a second flush of flowers.
All the time use sharp, sterile instruments when deadheading or pruning your crepe myrtle. This reduces the chance of spreading ailments between crops.
Widespread Crepe Myrtle Pests & Illnesses
Crepe myrtles endure from numerous ailments, together with leaf spot and powdery mildew. These ailments happen in heat, humid situations, particularly if the plant doesn’t get good air circulation. Offering the best rising situations is the easiest way to stop illness.
Crepe myrtles can endure from pests like aphids or scale bugs. Take away these pests utilizing horticultural oils or insecticidal cleaning soap. Keep away from utilizing artificial pesticides, as these kill useful bugs.
Crepe Myrtle Care FAQs:
Can You Develop a Crepe Myrtle from a Reducing?
Crepe myrtles might be propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings. Take cuttings in the course of the summer season, ensuring they’re 6 to eight inches lengthy with a minimum of 4 nodes.
How Lengthy Do Crepe Myrtles Take to Develop?
Crepe myrtles develop pretty shortly however can take 5 to 10 years to succeed in their full dimension.
The place Do Crepe Myrtles Develop Greatest?
Crepe myrtles develop greatest in well-draining soils in areas that get 6 hours of full solar every day.
Crepe myrtles are stunning shrubs and timber that produce a stunning show in the course of the summer season. Crepe myrtles are strongly linked to the Southern United States regardless of not being a local species. These crops want 6 hours of full solar each day and require well-draining soils. As soon as established, crepe myrtles are low-maintenance decorative crops.