Crapemyrtles are some of the showiest plants in bloom!
Many northerners have enjoyed them as they travel to the shore or down south in the summer. This summer-bloomer is in practically every yard and corporate center from Washington D. C. and southward, and is making its way North!
Hardier varieties have come to us primarily because of the hybridizing efforts of the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C., and by Crapemyrtle enthusiasts such as Dr. Carl Whitcomb formerly of the University of Oklahoma.
Crapemyrtles love the heat,
so put them in the sunniest spot you have. They will love the extra heat that occurs near a south-facing wall or fence. They are extremely drought-resistant once established.
Plant Them High!
A raised bed or berm will greatly increase survivability!! (Causes the plant to harden off tissue better before the first freeze)
Fertilize in spring,
because they bloom on ends of new growth. Preferably Plant-tone or comparable dry fertilizer. Liquid feeds of Miracle-gro are fast-acting but need to be repeated.
Trim in early spring (April or early May),
ideally before new growth ensues. Trimming up to July 4th will not hurt the plant, but will delay or eliminate flowering. If you trim a branch, it needs at least 5-6 weeks or more of hot weather before it blooms. So, hedging a crapemyrtle after July 4th will ruin your chances to enjoy its blooms.
Mulch generously in the fall. (Optional)
This protects the root zone from freezing completely and aids survival.
- » Do not fertilize (much) after August 1st
The resulting new growth will not harden off properly before frost and will die back in winter. Some low Nitrogen fert with micros is always good..
- » Do not prune heavily after August 1st
Again, the resulting new growth after pruning will not be ready for winter.
- » Do not plant in an area that puddles after a rain
Plant in soil that drains very well, such as a sloping area or raised bed. Very good drainage is key to survival in zone 6!