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Thread: Crape Myrtle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
    Posts
    121

    Crape Myrtle

    A pink Crape, after the rain.

    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,703
    John,
    It is neat how the rain makes them sparkle. Do crape myrtle come true from seeds?
    tennessee sue

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
    Posts
    366
    Sue
    I have grown a great many crepe myrtles from seed, and I don't have an answer for you, partly because I suspect my seeds were bee pollinated and who knows where that bee was first??? I carefully labeled the seeds I grew, but some became bushes, some became trees, and most flowered a different color from what I thought I was going to get. The color variations were magnificient, I have some salmon-pink, white, fuschia, pale pink and lavender. I don't think I tried to grow any lavender, so that was a surprise.

    But, I have successfully propagated 4 PURPLE crepe myrtle cuttings, and I mean royal purple was the color on the parent. As I had never seen this color before, I was determined to get some successful cuttings, and I did on the second try last fall, and they wintered okay in the garage. If you are interested in one, I can get some going again this spring, and mail you the dormant rooted cutting next March. The parent tree stands about 15' tall, isn't huge, is part of a rental property so I know that no one takes much care of it, and it is gorgeous when it blooms!!
    Linda
    Linda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    SE Michigan (zone 5-6)
    Posts
    809
    Linda, what zone are you in? I have always enjoyed crepe myrtle when I was in Asia, and I liked it so much when I saw them 2 years ago in Tenessee. I have never tried growing them here in Michigan as I thought it was too cold for them.

    When you said they overwinter in the garage, do you mean they go into dormant? Or do you still have to provide light and water etc through the winter?



    Tenessee, September 2007
    Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
    Posts
    366
    Dave
    I am in Northern Virginia, I think it is zone 7. But I think some are hardy to zone 5. I learned a lot about them on this website.. http://www.crapemyrtle.com/
    I grew most of mine from seeds or cuttings, actually almost all of them except for the first three I purchased before I discovered Landspro.com. I have tons of seeds, but that takes a year to get a good sized bush.

    If you grow the dwarf varieties, you can carry the pots inside for the winter, and yes, the cuttings I started I have always wintered in the garage and set them out in the ground the following spring. I left a lot of rooted cuttings out this past winter ( I had gotten carried away and had way too many potential crepe myrtles) and most died, but a couple did survive even in the small pots, and it was a cold winter here this year.. The plants can be drastically chopped back, I see it done a lot around here supposedly to promote uniformly shaped flowering trees, and they always seem to come back okay. . . but they sure looked scalped. My point was, you could probably grow them containered and when they go dormant, cut them back and winter them in the protection of the garage???

    I am a huge fan of these plants, I dug out the outside edges of my yard and planted my cuttings as a living hedge, it is gorgeous from late Jun until late September.
    Let me know if this helps!!
    Linda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
    Posts
    366
    I didn't really answer your question very well. I put the pots on the floor of the garage near a window, so they do get some light, not much. they are dormant, basically sticks in a pot, and I do add a little water probably once a month so the ground gets moistened. that works pretty well for them as the garage doesn't usually probably freeze, and the ones I left out I snuggled together and dumped lots of leaves over them as protection. They were slower to come back, and the smaller cuttings mostly died, the more mature plants (those probably on their second season) did survive. Pots left outside is probably not the best way to go for them in zone 7, we had some weeks in the teens this year, but the more mature CMs did okay.
    Linda

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Years ago, I think about in 2001 or 2002, I started some dwarf varieties from seed that I purchased from Park Seed. Although, they are not as big as the regular ones, they are not what I would really consider dwarf. They are about 9-10' tall now.

    I have never cut them back because I am a terrible pruner, but this year, I think that I will give that a try. They bloom like crazy here every year, but I do believe that a more compact bush would look nicer.

    I was once told by someone in Ohio that they die to the ground and sometimes will come back, sometimes not. Here, they are decidous and lose their leaves every year. None of the wood dies and the leaves emerge in the spring and are quickly followed by blooms.

    It is correctly spelled as Crape Myrtle, but I learned them as Crepe Myrtle, so that's how I typically label them. They are so very easy to grow from seed and will bloom within months of planting. They are also easy to grow from cuttings.

    The regular varieties are more beautiful. The trunks of the trees have a graceful curve and appearance, even when dormant.

    Someone once told me that there were miniature varieties that would grow in hanging baskets. That would be nice, but I haven't found those available anywhere.

    Gotta love them, no matter what the size! They are beautiful!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Central Coast Australia
    Posts
    1,363
    Ann
    I have a mini growing in a gallon pot, about 10 years old and 2 foot high.
    Just been out and checked that it has half a dozen seed pods still on the
    tree. Of course I cannot say if they are fertile but you are quite welcome to them - send me an email if you are interested

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
    Posts
    366
    Ann
    There are quite a few lovely photos of dwarf varieties on Crapemyrtle.com. This guy has patented a number of them, and I bought two different varieties, and one has stayed drawf, and the other one needs considerable pruning. I did cuttings and one has survivied. I can do some more and try to send you some???
    Linda

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    842
    I have two purple ones growing in my front yard. We bought them from The Lakeland Legder newspaper when they had a sale of crepe myrtles. We paid 3 dollars apiece for the 4 trees we bought 2 reds and 2 purples. Grandson Kaleb killed the two reds by breaking them into pieces one afternoon because he was angry we had told him he couldn't do something. Now when he destroys property, he loses things he wants to hang on to like , bikes , scooters, Lego's kits.
    Daylilies are the Lord's smile, a new one everyday

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