How to Grow Lagerstroemia indica Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Crepe Myrtle

The Lagerstroemia indica tree is a native of South-east and Eastern Asia, and the Himalayas. This tree has become naturalized in some southern USA states.

Plants usually grows as a small tree or bushy shrub. It has an upright nature and is wide-spreading.

Crepe myrtle

Crepe myrtle photograph by Gianni del bufalo. CC

Crepe-myrtle bloom

Crepe myrtle Bloom picture by Jacinta lluch valero. CC

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

Plant Details

  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Deciduous or evergreen. Tree, Shrub. Bushy habit.
  • Plant Height: 6 to 26 feet (2 to 8 m)
  • Plant Spread: 6 to 28 feet (2 to 8 m)
  • Blooms: Summer to Autumn
  • Flower Details: Conical panicles. Ruffled petals. White, pink, rose, red, purple.
  • Leaf Foliages: Oblong 8 cm / 3 inches long. Green. Juvenile leaves are bronze. Privet-like. Brown/grey bark.

Growing Conditions

  • 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.

Further Information

  • Best used for: Courtyards, wall-side borders, Patio, parks, Containers, Low maintenance gardens.
  • Family: Lythraceae.
  • 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.
  • Genus: Lagerstroemia Plant Growing Guide
  • Closely related family members: Lythrum growing guide; Cigar Plant
  • Further Reading and References used for this Lagerstroemia indica growing guide: Wiki; NC State Extension

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Lagerstroemia indica plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Trumpet Flower, Zinnia angustifolia, and Cuphea plants.