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Crapemyrtle

These beautiful natives of China and Korea are now synonymous with the American South.
Deciduous summer flowering crapemyrtles are some of the most versatile ornamentals, and
make excellent landscape or street trees.


SELECTION: Look at the area where you wish to install a crapemyrtle, and determine what
size plant is needed. Don’t select a plant with a mature height of 25 feet for a space that can
only accommodate 10 feet. Consider the available sunlight—crapemyrtles prefer at least 5 to
6 hours of direct sun in order to flower well. Also, make sure you have well-draining soil.
Finally, crapemyrtles come in a variety of flower colors, with varying bloom times and
duration, and with or without fall color or exfoliating bark, so keep these variables in mind,
too.


IRRIGATION: Crapemyrtles are drought tolerant once established; however, regular watering is needed the first year or so after planting. If planted in an area with an irrigation system, be sure it only runs in the early morning hours in order to minimize the time moisture can sit on the leaves.


PRUNING: Crapemyrtles do not require pruning in order to grow or bloom well. In fact, severely cutting trees (crape “murder”) can encourage problems such as aphids, powdery mildew, breakage, and decay.  Severe cutting can also stunt trees and delay blooming, as well as affect cold hardiness. Young trees may benefit from shaping or limbing-up, while mature trees only need pruning to remove suckers (if a tree form is wanted) and crossing branches. The seed heads can be removed at any time, but probably do not affect the overall vigor of the tree.


FERTILIZING: Crapemyrtles generally do not require a lot of fertilizer. Too much can lead to fastgrowing, succulent growth, with few or no flowers, making them quite susceptible to aphids and powdery mildew, as well as being prone to breakage. If your crapemyrtles are growing or blooming poorly, you may want to get a soil analysis to see what your nutrient needs are, then correct for deficiencies with recommended fertilizers.


PESTS & DISEASES: Generally, crapemyrtles are free of serious problems, but some varieties are more susceptible than others. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects leaves and flower buds in warm humid weather. It appears as a powdery growth on the tops, or in some cases the undersides, of leaves and flower buds, and can be rubbed off with your fingers. Powdery mildew is unsightly, and may cause disfiguring of leaves and flowers. Planting resistant cultivars is the best way to prevent this disease, although with the right conditions, even resistant plants may be infected. Soapy water or a baking soda and water solution may control a mild case; use a fungicide to treat a severe infection.


Aphids and Japanese beetles are the biggest insect problems for crapemyrtles. Aphids are tiny, pearshaped, usually green insects that suck the chlorophyll from leaves and flower buds. Typical symptoms are blotches of lighter green or yellow on the leaf surfaces and sooty mold on the trunk and lower leaves. Sooty mold is a fungus that grows on aphid excretion (honeydew), compromising the plants ability to photosynthesize. Aphids can be washed off with a heavy spray from a hose, or you can let natural predators such as lady bug beetles take care of them. In severe cases, an insecticide may be necessary.


Japanese beetles are small metallic green insects that feed on the leaves and flowers of a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers. They begin feeding in mid-to-late June, and continue through the end of July, with peak times generally around July 4th. There are several options for controlling Japanese beetles.  Beetle traps should be set at least 20’ away from the plants you are trying to protect. Insects can also be picked off and tossed into a cup/container of soapy water. Insecticides may be necessary.


POPULAR VARIETIES:


Variety                        Flower color                                          Mature height                   Shape
Acoma                          white                                                     10’                                    spreading
Apalachee                    light lavender                                         12-15’                               upright
Arapaho                       red                                                         20’ upright,                      spreading
Baton Rouge                deep red                                                2-3’                               mini-weeping
Biloxi pale                     pink                                                        20’                                upright vase
Bourbon Street             watermelon red                                     2-3 ‘                             mini-weeping
Burgundy Cotton          white                                                     10’                                     upright
Carolina Beauty            dark red                                                20’+                               very upright
Catawba                      violet purple                                           15’                                     upright
Centennial Spirit          wine red                                                10-15’                                upright
Cherry Dazzle               cherry red                                             2-4’                                   miniature
Chickasaw                     pink lavender                                       18-24”                                mound
Choctaw                       bright pink                                             15-20’                              small tree
Cordon Bleu                  lavender                                                2-3’                              mini-weeping
Dazzle Me                     Pink medium pink                                  2-4’                                    miniature
Delta Blush                    pink                                                      18-24’                             mini-mound
Dwarf Snow                  white                                                     4-6’                                     shrub
Dynamite                      cherry red                                              20’+                                    upright
Fantasy                        white                                                     20’+             broad tall tree, red bark
Hopi                              medium pink                                          8-10’                                   compact
Lipar                             medium lavender                                   15-20’                        upright, round
Miami                             dark pink                                               20’+                                    upright
Muskogee                      light lavender                                        25’                            broad tall tree
Natchez                         white                                                     20-25’                       broad tall tree
New Orleans                  lavender pink                                        3’                              mini-weeping
Osage                           clear pink                                               15-20’                            upright
Pink Velour                    bright pink                                             10’                                   broad
Pocomoke                      dark pink                                                18-24”                            mound
Potomac clear                 pink                                                       15-20’                           upright
Prairie Lace                     pink and white                                      5-10’                     compact, upright
Raspberry Dazzle           bright red/pink                                       2-4’                               miniature
Raspberry Sunday          cardinal red to pink                               15-20’                            upright
Red Rocket                     cherry red                                              20’                                 upright
Royalty deep                  lavender                                                10-15’
Ruby Dazzle                    ruby-red                                               2-4’                               miniature
Sacramento                    deep red                                              18-24”                           miniature
Sarah’s Favorite              white                                                   20’+                          upright, broad
Sioux vibrant                   dark pink                                             15’                             dense upright
Siren                                bright red                                           10-12’                              upright
Snow Dazzle                    white                                                  2-4’                                 miniature
Tightwad                          red                                                      2-4’                                    dense
Tonto                               red                                                      10-12’                    compact globosa
Townhouse                      white                                                  20’+            broad tall tree, red bark
Tuscarora                        deep coral pink                                    15’                               broad vase
Twilight                            purple                                                 15-20’                       broad upright
Victor Red                        dark red                                               5’                              upright dwarf
White Chocolate              white                                                   8-10’                                upright
World’s Fair                      deep red                                             3’                               mini-weeping
Zuni                                 medium lavender                                 8-12’                              globosa


The Great Big Greenhouse & Nursery, 2051 Huguenot Road, Richmond, VA 23235
Phone (804) 320-1317 Fax (804) 320-9580 website www.greatbiggreenhouse.com