Crepe Myrtles are a very hardy plant that can be grown in most climates. They are native to southeast Asia and northern Australia and are known for their beautiful flowers and amazing mottled trunks. Together, these provide both beauty and interest all year round.
Common Names: Crepe Myrtle
Scientific Name: Lagerstroemia indica
Crepe Myrtles are deciduous; they drop their leaves during autumn and then grow new leaves during the spring. Typically, they will grow up to 8m (25’) tall, but they can be pruned in order to maintain them as a shrub at your desired height. This enables them to be grown as either a tree, shrub, miniature or even a standard plant
Flowering will occur during mid summer and can last for approximately 2 months, although this will depend on your climate and conditions. Flowers are available in a range of colours including; white, pink, red and mauve. But all Crepe Myrtle flowers have petals that are ‘crinkly’ and crepe paper like. Of course, this is where it gets its name from.
While crepe myrtles particularly like hot and dry climates, many are quite tolerant of the cold. But if you do live in a cold region, it is best to select an area that has maximum exposure to the sun and its warmth. Crepe myrtles are also quite drought tolerant.
Plant crepe myrtles directly from a pot, or sometimes they are available as a bare-rooted plant in winter. It is important to give them plenty of water in order to get them started, but once established you will find that they require minimal maintenance.
If you choose to prune your crepe myrtle, do so after flowering has finished, and remove at least 30cm (12”). Should you wish to prune heavily, you will also be rewarded by vigorous growth to your desired shape and size.