The Crepe Myrtle
The crepe myrtle, also known a Lagerstroemia, is a flowering tree with blossoms that will likely range from pure whites, reds, to pinks and purples. This tree's genus and family species consists of over 45 different kinds. It is native to warmer climates; the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, to name a few.
It can grow between 8ft - 25ft high with different species maturing to only about 6ft tall. Each is best suited for warmer climates with present humidity. Their bark is unique and used ornamentally throughout the year. It peels off of the tree naturally, revealing the tree's smooth but solid flesh.
The growth at maturity for crepe myrtle trees will differ by region and how well the plant was nursed and nurtured. Ideally, crepe myrtles are a tree that readily sprouts forth large clusters of flowers from branch to branch. During summer, these trees keep the sense of spring in full bloom with a blossoming array of bold and fresh colors.
They are highly prized for their sensual look alongside homes and fences. The low maintenance of the crepe myrtle, matched with its exotic textures and colors, make it a living statue of beauty. The combination of the tree's height, fall colors, flowering clusters, and intriguing peeled bark, makes it an ornament in any home garden or formal landscape.
Growth Per Year
The crepe myrtle tree is a fast grower. Each year, it can sprout 12in to 18in of new growth, where flowers bloom. The crepe myrtle tree's flower will only grow on new growth. If a season's frigid weather stunts the growth of branches, flowers may not bloom.
The tree's counterpart; its shrub, takes more time to mature. Once the bush has established its roots, growth is then accelerated rapidly. Nevertheless, these shrubs do not grow past 6ft.
Crepe myrtles grow best, in loose and well-drained soil. Myrtles can usually withstand adverse soil conditions and also do well in drought-like scenarios. However, they will ideally thrive in neutral to mildly acidic soil with a pH level of 6.0 - 7.3.
Since nutrient deposits can cause tremendous damage to crepe myrtle roots, it is usually not necessary to amend the soil when planting. If done, however, small amounts are suggested.
The beautiful crepe myrtle has been hybridized to suit a wide variety of climates and temperatures. It is best raised in warmer climates with prevailing humidity. The awe induced flowers from the myrtle - blooms in summer temperatures only. Because these trees are widely prized, growers have altered their suitability to many other zones.
These hybridized crepe myrtle plants have not been known as subpar in any aspect. They have genetically gained the flexibility to thrive in the ranges of all hardiness zones; from 1 to 11.