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,
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.
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