AZ Arboretums

Lagerstroemia indica

crape myrtleCommon: Crape myrtle, Common myrtle, Myrtle
Family: Lythraceae
Origin: Native to China
Sunset Zone: All zones
Light: Full sun
Soil: Well drained soil
Water: Frequent water in spring, moderate for rest of year
Temperature: Hardy in Zones 1-6, but does not flower freely except in hottest summers; excellent in Zones 7-10, 12-14, 18-21 although mildew can be a problem.

Dwarf shrubby forms and shrub tree forms, can be trained as tree. Bold summer and fall color. Tropical effect. Nice emphasis plant. Looks more effective if grouped. Picturesque winter form. Small deciduous tree, often multi-stemmed; can be trained to a single trunk.

Shrubs can grow as wide as they are high; trained as tree, becomes vase shaped. Slow growing, 15 to 20 ft. tall. as tree, 3-6 eet tall and wide as shrub. Leaves are 1 to 2 1/2 inches long; bronze colored when new. Mature leaves are deep green, and turn to yellow-orange in autumn before falling.

Common name comes from 1/2" blossoms that appear crinkled like crepe paper. Multitude of shades including pink, purple, white and red. Appear in rounded, slightly conical clusters throughout summer in areas with plenty of heat. 6-12 inches long, at ends of branches. Flowers followed by rounded seed capsules which remain at branch tips throughout winter months.

Prune in dormant season to increase flowering wood for following year. Remove spent flower clusters. Powdery mildew, scale and aphids are common problems.