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Purple Crepe Myrtle Plant

Purple Crepe Myrtle Plant


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Purple Crepe Myrtle Shrub

Purple Crepe Myrtles

Purple crepe myrtles are a lovely addition to any home's landscape. They get their name from the purple color of the flowers that bloom in clusters at the end of their branches. The flowers only form on new growth, so it is best to prune back the top thin branches at the end of the season to ensure that there are plenty of blooms during their summertime display. These trees begin flowering in the late spring, and they don't stop until after the first frost. But they are still attractive during the chilly winter season because the loss of their green foliage and lovely flowers makes it easier to see their ash-colored bark that peels back slightly. 

Purple crepe myrtles don't get exceptionally tall. Most of them only grow to be about 20 feet in height at most. So they work well when they are planted in long rows as a hedge for privacy. These trees aren't picky about soil conditions, but they are finicky about the temperature of the climate where they grow. They only survive in zones six to ten in the United States. 

Propagating purple crepe myrtles isn't easy, so most people prefer to buy them already started from a plant store. Once they are planted, they don't take long to grow to their full mature height. But to encourage faster growth, it helps to water them regularly and fertilize them in the middle of the spring. Established purple crepe myrtles are surprisingly drought tolerant, so they are most commonly seen near the southernmost portion of the United States. The trees will survive if they are grown in shady areas, but they do the best in full sun. 

On hot summer days, water drips from their foliage. So there have been many legends surrounding the way that they seem to “cry” sometimes. The release of water hits the ground though, and it is reabsorbed by the roots.

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