Lagerstroemia, commonly known as crape myrtle, is a genus of around 50 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs native to the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, northern Australia, and other parts of Oceania, cultivated in warmer climates around the world.

The myrtle trees crape have great natural beauty, resilience, and minimal care needs make them a welcome addition to any yard or garden. Since trees thrive in hot, humid conditions, they will do best in well-drained soil somewhere where they can get plenty of direct sunlight.

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1. Origin of Crape Myrtle

Native to the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, northern Australia, and parts of Oceania, grown in warmer climates worldwide.

2. Description

These flowering trees have beautiful colours and are often planted privately and commercially as ornamental.

Most Lagerstroemia species have striated, and striated stems and branches with a mottled appearance arising from the bark shed throughout the year.

While all species are woody, they can vary in height, although most are small to medium-sized trees and multi-trunk shrubs. The leaves of temperate species provide fall colour.

3. Crepe myrtle botany

It is a member of the Lythraceae family, also known as the Loosestrife family. The genus is named after the Swedish merchant Magnus von Lagerström, director of the Swedish East India Company that supplied Carl Linnaeus with the plants he collected.

4. Varieties of crape myrtle

Some varieties of crape myrtle produce edible fruits sold commercially; others are best grown as treats for birds and other wild animals. Myrtle varieties include crepe, soft pink, wax, dwarf, and sand.

  • Twilight myrtle (Lagerstroemia) grows best in hot, dry climates and prefers dry, shallow soils. They produce pink, white, lavender, magenta, and pink flowers. Flowering continues through the summer and into the fall.
  • Pink myrtle (Rhodomyrtus tomentose ) – Native to Asia, they can grow to nearly 10 feet tall with hairy leaves over 3 inches long. The pink flowers give way to dark purple edible berries in the spring. Drops of seeds, birds and mammals scatter the soft rose myrtle.
  • Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera), native to South Carolina, grow best in hardiness zones. Trees grow up to 20 feet tall and sprout green leaves nearly 3 inches long. Flowers appear on female plants in early spring. The berries appear in late fall through winter.
  • Dwarf myrtle: Like their full-size counterparts, dwarf myrtles enjoy warm weather, full sunlight, and dry soil, but they reach only 3 feet in height. The dwarf wax myrtle, for example, is dioecious. Its female portions produce blue-grey berries.

5. Myrtle Crepe Origin, Description, Cultivation, Care, Properties complete guide 2022

As they age, the berries create seed pods. Other varieties of dwarf myrtle produce fruits that are used for winemaking and medicines. Dwarf wax myrtle thickets are natural fences well suited for hedges and landscaping.

  • Sand Myrtle: Sand myrtles are small evergreens that grow 1 to 3 feet tall. Its white flowers bloom in May and June.

Many varieties of sand myrtle grow in zones 6 through 9. However, in zone 6, some myrtle varieties can die during the winter.

When grown in pots or indoors, the plants are hardy in warmer climates. Sand myrtles thrive in wet peat sand and acidic soil, but they do not tolerate drought.

6. Types of crepe myrtle

  • Myrtle Lagerstroemia Villosa
  • Myrtle Lagerstroemia Subsessilifolia
  • Lagerstroemia suprareticulata
  • Myrtle Lagerstroemia Tomentosa
  • Koehne myrtle Lagerstroemia Turbinata
  • Lagerstroemia venusta
  • Myrtle Lagerstroemia intermedia
  • Myrtle Lagerstroemia langkawiensis
  • Lagerstroemia limit
  • Myrtle Lagerstroemia Loudonii

7. Size

Crape myrtles are excellent to use in landscaping and gardens. They range from dwarf size, about 18 inches, to mature trees that grow up to 40 feet tall.

8. Colours

Crape myrtles are summer flowering trees admired for their vibrant pink, red, purple, and white flowers.

These flowering trees have beautiful colours and are often planted privately and commercially as ornamental.

9. How to grow crape myrtle

Plant crape myrtle at the end of the year. Without the necessary heat, the tree will not be able to survive.

It works in almost any well-drained soil, including sand, loam, and clay, but it thrives in slightly acidic or neutral soils with 5.5 to 7.5.

Water the dwarf myrtle once a week during hot, dry weather, providing enough moisture to soak the roots to a depth of 10 to 12 inches. One way to accomplish this is to let a hose run slowly at the bush’s base for 20 to 30 minutes.

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and never water if the ground is still wet. The crape myrtle tree is prone to several diseases related to high humidity, including powdery mildew, leaf spot, and sooty mould. During most of the year, the dwarf myrtle is resistant to drought and does not require supplemental watering.

Spread two to three inches of natural mulch in the soil around the tree. Mulch like pine needles, shredded bark, or pine needles keeps the ground cool and moist and slows weed growth.

10. In a garden

Choose a sunny location for your growing site. Crape myrtles need a lot of light to flourish. If possible, choose a place that receives a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. An open track near the centre of your yard or garden is often the best place to locate a young myrtle.

A crepe myrtle can be perfect for filling in sections of landscaping that are too hot or too bright for more temperate plants.

11. Flowerpot

Choose a pot of the appropriate size. Although crepe myrtle can reach up to 15 feet (4.6 m), it is generally best to use a small container. It will help hold the roots together, allowing the plant to grow larger, healthier, and faster.

Any pot you go with should have holes in the bottom for easy drainage.

It may be necessary to move your plant outdoors or trim it back to more manageable proportions once it begins to approach full size.

Fill the pot with standard potting soil. Add the ground until it is 3–4 inches (7.6–10 cm) below the pot’s rim. Avoid overfilling: the cane must have a small space to expand as it grows, and a too restrictive environment can stifle its development.

Crepe myrtle isn’t particular when it comes to soil conditions – an all-purpose potting mix will work just fine. If you prefer to grow your crape myrtle outdoors, use a mixture of garden soil, loam, and natural compost.

12. Crepe myrtle care

  • A thick layer will help the roots retain moisture and discourage the growth of weeds, which can deplete the tree’s nutrients.
  • Leave about half a foot (0.15 m) of space between the mulch layer and the trunk. Stacking mulch too close or too much can smother the roots and endanger the tree’s life.
  • Apply 2-3 inches of new mulch each spring when the tree begins to flower.
  • Water your plant 1-5 times a week. Continue this watering schedule for the first two months. Then re-wet them once a week.
  • Any organic slow-release fertilizer will work just fine – a well-balanced 10-10-10 mix is ​​a popular choice with many gardeners. Apply the fertilizer to the soil generously in early spring as soon as the first leaves appear. After the first growing season, reduce fertilization once a year.

13. Seeds

Acquire seeds or plant cuttings. To grow crape myrtle at home, buy a starter seed pack that you can develop from scratch. If you prefer to skip the initial germination phase, larger cuttings can be taken from the tips or the cane (the long woody stem from which the leaves sprout).

Both forms will flourish equally well as long as they are correctly cared for. They are soaking the seeds in fresh water for 3-5 days before planting will help germination. It is also possible to transplant whole young plants from one pot or garden plot.

14. flowers

The 3 cm flowers are borne in rounded, slightly conical clusters, 15-30 cm long, at the ends of the branches. Clusters of flower buds develop at the tips of the buds in spring and early summer and open to reveal their bright, wrinkled petals from June to September. The flowers are produced even on young plants.

Dry 6-part capsules follow the fertile flowers in vertical spikes. Each tablet is approximately 9-13 mm long, persistent through winter.

The capsules are green and succulent at first, then mature to dark brown or black dryness. It divides into six or seven lines, producing teeth and releasing numerous tiny, winged seeds.

Water the dwarf myrtle once a week during hot, dry weather, providing enough moisture to soak the roots.

15. Properties and benefits of crape myrtle

Crepe myrtle has some contents that can cure some diseases. Not only as medicine but it can also be used as herbs that are good for health.

Some contents are corosolic acid, saponin, tannin and flavonoid. Some contents of Crape Myrtle are also believed to be used as medicines and herbal potions to maintain good health.

16. Other uses

Commercial Use: Crape myrtle is valued as a landscape plant for its prolific summer flowers, heat and drought tolerance, and year-round landscape interest.

Used for buffer strips around parking lots, for medium strip plantings along roads, fence decks, patios, as shade trees in small parking lots and around houses

17. Medical uses

  • Prevent cancer cell growth: Crepe myrtle consists of saponin, which can boost the immune system as an antioxidant. The antioxidant in crepe myrtle can help prevent cancer cells from growing within the body.
  • In addition to saponin, crepe myrtle also contains flavonoids. Both are compounds that can help prevent cancer cells from growing inside the body.
  • Maintaining healthy bones: Maintaining the health of your bones is very important because bones function as a framework and as the pillar of the body.
  • Lack of calcium and phosphorous can also cause bones to become porous. In addition to calcium and phosphorus, bones also need a flavonoid compound to prevent them from becoming porous.
  • Beneficial for constipation: Crepe myrtle is rich in dietary fibres. Therefore, people suffering from constipation or hard stools can use Jarul leaves, bark, and flowers to soothe stool and soften bowel movements. It, in turn, offers relief from constipation. The decoction made with the leaves has been very popular as a purgative.

18. Crepe myrtle varieties from zone 6: growing crepe myrtle trees in zone 6

When you remember a southern landscape full of summer flowers, you are probably thinking of crepe myrtle, the classic flowering tree of the American South. If you want to start growing crepe myrtle trees in your home garden, it’s a challenge in zone 6. Read on for information on crepe myrtle for zone 6.

19. Hardy Crepe Myrtles

If you ask about the hardiness zones for growing crepe myrtle trees, you will probably learn that these plants thrive in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7 and above. They can even suffer cold damage in zone 7. What can a gardener in area 6 do? You will be glad to hear that some new and robust crepe myrtles have been developed.

So will crepe Myrtle grow in zone 6 now? The answer is: sometimes. All crepe myrtles are in the genus Lagerstroemia. Within that genus, there are several species. These include Lagerstroemia indica and its hybrids, the most popular species, and Lagerstroemia fauriei and its hybrids.

While the former is not hardy crepe myrtles for zone 6, the latter may be. Several cultivars have been developed from the Lagerstroemia fauriei variety. Look for any of the following at your garden store:

  • “Pocomoke”
  • ‘A comma’
  • “Caddo”
  • “Hopi”
  • “Foolish”
  • “Cherokee”
  • “Osage”
  • ‘Sioux’
  • “Tuskegee”
  • “Tuscarora”
  • “Biloxi”
  • “Kiowa”
  • “Miami”
  • “Natchez”

While these hardy myrtles can survive in zone 6, it’s a stretch to say that they thrive in such cold regions. These zone 6 crepe myrtle varieties are only resistant to area 6 roots. That means you can start growing crepe myrtle trees outdoors, but you will have to think of them as perennials. They will likely die back to the ground during the winter and then sprout again in the spring.

20. Myrtles Crepe Options for Zone 6

If you don’t like the idea of ​​zone 6 crepe myrtles dying to the ground every winter, you can look for microclimates near your home. Plant zone six crepe myrtle varieties in the warmest and most sheltered spots in your garden. If you find that the trees have a warm microclimate, they may not die off in winter.

Another option is growing zone 6 crepe myrtle varieties in large containers. When the first frost kills the leaves, move the pots to a cool place that offers shelter. An unheated garage or shed works well. Just water them monthly during the winter. Once spring rolls around, gradually expose your plants to the weather outside. Once new growth appears, start watering and feeding.

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21. Can crape myrtles resist frost?

Related Posts

Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.), Also known as crape myrtles or crape myrtles, are flowering deciduous shrubs. There are many types of Myrtle, which generally bloom from July to September (mid-summer to early fall) and usually grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10. Learning about Myrtle’s cold hardiness and how to care for them will allow your shrubs to thrive, even if you live in a relatively harder environment.

Myrtles can tolerate temperatures as low as about 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezing temperatures and severe frosts can cause myrtles to die during the winter.

What is the difference between a crepe myrtle bush and a crepe myrtle tree?

The difference between the crape myrtle bush and the crape myrtle tree is that the tree is taller than crape myrtle bush. Crape myrtle bushes have multiple stems and their height is between 2 and 15 ft. … Crape myrtle trees can be as much as 20 ft. (6 m) taller than the bushes

Where is the best place to plant a crepe myrtle?

Crape Myrtle Trees need plenty of sun, so choose a bright sunny spot for your planting. They are idea for those hot, dry places where other plants do not thrive, so take advantage of that and use them in places that can be hard to fill.

Are crepe myrtles fast growing trees?

This shrub grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24″ per year.

How tall does a crepe myrtle grow?

Plant details

Description: A deciduous, vase-shaped tree about 6-8m (18-25′) tall. It is often severely pruned and grown as a shrub 3-4m (10-12′) tall. Trusses of white, pink, mauve or purple blooms appear in late summer.

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