Many people like to grow this tree for it's attractive peeling bark and long blooming season. The bark is usually smooth and a pinkish-grey. The flowers are ornamental papery inflorescences reaching 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm) in length. Round seed pods follow flowering.
Leaves are evergreen or deciduous. When they are young they may be light green, bronze or red. They then turn to a dark green as they mature in the summer. Leaves are very attractive in the autumn / Fall when they turn to orange, red, or yellow.
Quick Growing and Care Guide
Scientific Name:Lagerstroemia indica
Common Name (s): Crepe myrtle
Cultivars: Cherokee (red, 3m / 11 feet); Dallas Red (Cold hardy; 6 m / 20 feet); Muskogee (lavender); Natchez (white, 7.6 m / 25 feet); Powhatan (purple, 4.5 to 6 m / 15 to 20 feet) Tuscarora (coral pink, 4.8 m / 16 feet)
Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): 6 to 9 / H3
Life Cycle / Plant Type: Deciduous or evergreen. Tree, Shrub. Bushy habit.
Leaf Foliages: Oblong 8 cm / 3 inches long. Green. Juvenile leaves are bronze. Privet-like. Brown/grey bark.
Location and Light Conditions: Full sun for best results. Prefers sheltered location. South or West facing. Grow against a wall in colder areas to help prevent damage from frost.
Suitable Soil Types: Well drained. Loam, clay, sand
Suitable Soil pH: Any
Soil Soil Moisture: Medium
Sowing, planting, and Propagation: Cultivate in a fertile soil. Sow seeds in the spring (10°C / 50°F). Grows well from cuttings (softwood: late spring; or Semi-ripe: summer.
Care: Light pruning to keep tidy and free of disease. Use a slow release fertilizer as overly fertile soils may result in greater leaf production but poorer flowering and greater vulnerability to winter damage. Susceptible to mildew and fungal diseases - resistant hybrids are available.
Best used for: Courtyards, wall-side borders, Patio, parks, Containers, Low maintenance gardens.
Closely Related Species:
Miscellaneous: Many species have attractive peeling bark. Takes about 20 to 50 years to achieve full height. Named after the Swedish botanist Magnus von Lagerstroem.