Shades Of Crepe

Lagerstroemia hybrids, Crepe myrtles, are available in many colors.  From blog reading I get the impression they are over-used in the southeastern US and considered quite passe.  Thankfully they are not so prevalent here, so we can enjoy their summer glory without sighing over their commonness.   They are also a good size for our small Southern California lots--and less thirsty than some trees.  

White
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Light Pink
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A lavender pink
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 A darker pink
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Red
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Comments

  1. Those crepes all look healthy, including nice growth on each. I think that plant needs humidity with warmth, not to mention moderate irrigation (but not heavy) - dry heat is not good for it. The darker pink pair by that house works so well. Yeah, very common in the SE and in Abq.

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    1. They do need heat--right by the coast is not warm enough, because they mildew like crazy. Seven miles inland they look much better. I've not seen them really inland, where summer temps hang around 100F for a couple months. Yes I loved the dark pink with the terra cotta house color, looks even better in person.

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  2. Wow, I've never seen them pruned into lollipop shape like that before... hope you don't mind be saying: I don't like it.

    There are certainly plenty of these here in St. Louis, but why is that a bad thing? They're wonderful when in bloom! I particularly like the deep red ones, as pink is far too common.

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    1. Are they usually multi-stemmed and not limbed up in your area? They are not really lollipopped--perhaps it is the photos. In person they look quite graceful, not at all severe. Perhaps too because it is drier here they lose their lower foliage and branches at a young age?

      I like the deep red too.

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  3. Any southerner who says they are passe is just being a plant snob. Left to their own devices they are not really trees, but large multi-stemmed shrubs. Single-stemmed specimens are not that common here with nurseries and landscapers installing and selling 3-4 trunked specimens. To get that look smaller stems need to kept pruned out while the plant is young. I am glad you are enjoying them also.

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    1. Here about half multi-stem and half single stem. Thanks for that note on the pruning. I will be working on my little baby 'Dynamite's to get that 3-4 trunk look. With the beautiful bark that develops with age, seems to me the more trunks the better.

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  4. Missed this post earlier...I'm in a Crape Myrtle swoon right now due to the impending first (small) bloom of my 'Natchez'. That one's a natural shrub shape, which I much prefer. We also have a four-year-old tree specimen that's a deep magenta. As useful as it is, where it provides privacy with its higher canopy, I've grown dissatisfied the color. I so wished we had picked a warmer shade, like that last picture you show. That's my kind of red!

    I agree with Alan that the tree shapes, especially when they're young, are lollypop-like and somewhat awkward. But as they mature the trees become quite lovely and graceful, as you noted. You don't see a lot of mature crapes here but we're starting to see more, spurred perhaps by Paul Bonine of Xera Plants, who is a local fan and propagator.

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    1. I wasn't so concerned with the flower color (turns out I like it a lot) as with the mature size of the tree. The 'Dynamite" (red, last photo) is supposed to mature at around 15-18', not too big, not too small. It is also supposed to be quite mildew resistant.

      We saw a 67-year old specimen (documented--they had a dated photo of the tree being planted) on a garden tour this spring and the bark was gorgeous. Tree also looked healthy and vigorous at age 67! I hope ours get to live so long and look so good.

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