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Crape Myrtles

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Crape Myrtles were native to China, Japan, and Korea and introduced to Charleston, South Carolina, and the United States in 1790.   Crape Myrtles are chiefly known for their colorful long lasting flowers that bloom 60 to 90

days in the summer. Flowers are borne in summer and autumn in panicles of crinkled flowers with a crepe-like texture. Colors vary from deep purple to red and white, with almost every shade in between. Its seed is a capsule, green and succulent at first, then ripening to a dark brown or black dryness. These capsules release small winged seeds.

In the wild most Crape Myrtle are multi-stemmed large shrubs, but in today landscape it is possible to find crape myrtle filling every landscaping need from small trees to dense barrier hedges to dwarf types that grow only 2 foot tall.

Today many of the new crape myrtle varieties were developed at the National Arboretum in Washington DC. These were developed to be disease resistant and hardier for northern climates. They have become the mainstay of the crape myrtles that are used in the landscaping of corporate parks and home gardens.

Arapaho, Tonto, Catawba, Sioux, Tuscarora, Tuskegee, and Yuma are just a few that have been introduced with many more being developed by other people. Some of the newer varieties have burgundy leaves with blooms from purple to brilliant pink and others are dwarf growing only to 3 feet.

Crape myrtle bloom on new growth so you can prune in the spring and they will still flower that summer. Many semi-dwarf varieties will rebloom if you remove spent bloom and fertilize. Many crape myrtles are often injured in bitterly cold winters and they are one of the last of the deciduous shrubs to begin growth in the spring so wait until late spring or early summer to prune. Never prune crape myrtle in the fall and winter since it compromises their hardiness.

Crape myrtle flower most heavily in full uninterrupted sunlight. Even an hour of shade during the day will compromise flowering. Other things that cause Crape Myrtles to bloom less are frequent irrigation, lack of heat, and over fertilization.

Some of the newer burgundy varieties are Pink Velour (bright pink), Plum Magic, Coral Magic, Delta Jazz, and Purple Magic. The dwarf varieties include Color me Pink, Cherry Dazzle, Pocomoke, and Ruby Dazzle.

Varieties

Below is a sampling of crape myrtle varieties available at Meadows Farms. Please note that sizes and availabilities vary by nursery so contact your local Meadows Farms retail nursery for sizing and availability information.

ARAPAHO

Arapaho Crape Myrtle

This stunning ornamental shrub or small tree produces volumes of brilliant red frilly blooms in summer, followed by maroon-red fall foliage; a captivating focal point for the garden or border; zone 6 root hardy only.

CATAWBA

Catawba Crape Myrtle

This stunning ornamental shrub produces volumes of deep purple frilly blooms in summer, followed by scarlet red fall foliage; a captivating focal point for the garden or border; also good for container planting.

CORAL MAGIC

Coral Magic Crape Myrtle

This stunning ornamental shrub produces volumes of deep coral frilly blooms in summer, followed by orange-red fall foliage; a captivating focal point for the garden or border; also good for container planting.

DELTA JAZZ

Delta Jazz Crape Myrtle

This elegant ornamental shrub is covered in bright pink frilly blooms in summer, held over smokey burgundy foliage; a captivating focal point for the garden or border; also good for container planting.

DYNAMITE

Dynamite Crape Myrtle

This attractive ornamental shrub or small tree produces volumes of deep red frilly blooms in summer, followed by vibrant orange-red fall foliage; a captivating focal point for the garden or border; also good for container planting.

MUSKOGEE

Muskogee Crape Myrtle

This attractive ornamental shrub or small tree produces volumes of light lavender-pink frilly blooms in summer, followed by vibrant red fall foliage; a captivating focal point for the garden or border.

NATCHEZ

Natchex Crape Myrtle

An ornamental tree that is covered with papery panicles of white flowers on weeping branch tips; decorative bark exfoliates to expose layers of color; shows good resistance to powdery mildew; heat and drought tolerance; does not like to be over-fertilized.

PINK VELOUR

Pink Velour Crape Myrtle

This stunning ornamental shrub or small tree produces vibrant pink blooms in summer, contrasted by deep green-purple foliage; a captivating focal point for the garden or border; also good for container planting.

PLUM MAGIC

Plum Magic Crape Myrtle

This stunning ornamental shrub produces volumes of fuchsia toned frilly blooms in summer; green foliage emerges plum purple, then changes to a deep gray-green; a captivating focal point for the garden or border.

PURPLE MAGIC

Purple Magic Crape Myrtle

This stunning ornamental shrub produces volumes of purple toned frilly blooms in summer; green foliage emerges copper, then is followed by vibrant red fall foliage; captivating focal point for the garden or border.

RED ROCKET

Red Rocket Crape Myrtle

This stunning ornamental shrub or small tree produces long-lasting cherry red blooms in summer, reblooming in fall; stunning orange fall foliage; a captivating focal point for the garden or border; also good for container planting.

SIOUX

Sioux Crape Myrtle

Covered with pretty papery panicles of pink flowers; attractive exfoliating bark; heat and drought tolerance; does not like to be over-fertilized.

TONTO

Tonto Crape Myrtle

This attractive ornamental shrub produces amazing fuchsia-red blooms in summer, followed by vibrant orange-red fall foliage; a captivating focal point for the garden or border.

TUSCARORA

Tuscarora Crape Myrtle

This attractive ornamental shrub or small tree is covered in striking coral-pink blooms in summer, followed by red-orange fall foliage; a captivating focal point for the garden or border.

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