Black Diamond® Best Red™ Crape Myrtle Shrub

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For a bold, fantastic, garden accent, you'll never go wrong with a Black Diamond® Crape Myrtle. These plants feature deep, dark consistent foliage all season long. You've probably seen examples of these popular landscape shrubs around your neighborhood. People love them for good reason!

Black Diamond® Best Red™ Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia BLACK DIAMOND 'Best Red') has incredibly deep, clear red, crinkled flower clusters that will decorate your landscape for most of the growing season. The wonderful flowers are the perfect contrast to the classic dark red, nearly black foliage of the Black Diamond® series.

Every garden needs a little drama! The unique look of Best Red™ Crape Myrtle brings a very dynamic display to the landscape. From early spring through fall, the nearly black foliage sets the stage, and it holds that high-impact color all season.

You'll be thrilled each year to see the ruffled red blooms develop into extremely showy large clusters. The blooms attract Hummingbirds and butterflies, and are highly visible atop the deep, dark, red-black foliage, that you'll have people slowing down for a second look as they drive past your home or business.

In fact, they are so showy, you might think these shrubs are high-maintenance divas, but that's the furthest thing from the truth. Best Red™ shrubs pair a show-stopping appearance with a very appealing low-maintenance performance!

Best Red™ is a versatile variety, with a growth habit that is a bit upright and a bit shrubby. Developed by Jim Berry, the famous Plantsman who developed the series, and he highlights this variety as a medium-sized option. Best Red™ gives you much more flexibility as you decide how you want to maintain it in your yard. Hardy throughout USDA growing zones 6 to 10 and growing into a rounded 10-12 foot tall shrub!

Planting and Application:

Add a conversation starter in your patio planting, front porch steps, or as a crown jewel to your landscape beds! Try several Best Red™ around your patio, or one on either side of a sunny entrance. It looks great all season!

Create an upscale specimen tree-from by removing the lower limbs and exposing the lovely, smooth bark to keep it as a small landscape accent tree! Or, allow the lower branches to grow to the ground for a perfect privacy screen. Best Red™ is well suited for either application.

You'll love the option to use Best Red™ as a friendly living fence or garden room. This sun lover can be added to the sunny side of larger evergreens. Best Red™ can take hard pruning to keep it shorter. Try it along the length of your property line, or plant it along driveways or fences. How nice to boost the height of your hardscaped fence and gift your family a very welcome feeling of respite from prying eyes.

It makes a terrific naturally shaped flowering hedge along the pool deck. Plant a staggered row in a zig-zag planting pattern to achieve a solid screen faster.

It's perfectly happy planted in the ground in Growing Zones 6 - 10 or use it as the ideal container plant anywhere. In Zones 7 - 10, this plant can be grown as a shrub or small shrubby tree. Best Red™ is well suited to almost any size landscape and makes the perfect small accent. Why not feature it in a prime location in your landscape?

In Zone 6, this versatile plant is considered a perennial, dying back to the ground, and then regrowing from the roots in the spring. Simply trim off any winter-damaged wood in spring to prepare for new growth. A layer of straw around the bottom of the plant to protect the crown will ensure your Best Red™ returns even after the coldest winter.

It will also be an exotic "Thriller" in annual container gardens in Zones 3 - 5. People in these cold winter zones can simply move the patio container into an unheated garage for the winter. Return it to the outdoors again once the threat of frost has passed and enjoy the new growth from the roots.

  • Showy, Clear Red Flowers All Season!
  • Dark Foliage Remains Colorful Spring to Fall
  • Butterfly & Hummingbird Magnet
  • Can Be Pruned Into A Tree Form or Low Shrub
  • Magnificent Accent, Perfect Flowering Hedge & Large Containers

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Plant in full sun locations, preferably one that gets the drying power of the morning sun. Crape Myrtles do best in well-drained soil. Make sure that the location drains well with no winter standing water. If you need to improve your drainage, you can mound up additional soil to 18 inches and plant in that mound. Or, plant in a raised bed if necessary.

Spread a good layer of mulch 3 to 4 inches deep out 3 feet from the center of the plant. Mulch helps the roots stay cool and to conserve water. Water regularly the first season and less the next. Easy care Crape Myrtles are all drought tolerant once established. Apply slow-release fertilizer in early spring and before the 4th of July. Follow directions on the container, as you won't want to overdo the application rate.

All Crape Myrtles flower on new wood so heavy pruning in late winter or early spring will not damage this season's flowers. Please don't shear them straight across the top. This will promote weak, spindly branches over time.

It's better to selectively prune your plant to shape it. Reach into the canopy to shape or simply remove twiggy growth or crossing branches. The goal is to allow good air circulation into the canopy.

For a tree form, select the strongest branches, and prune all laterals smoothly back to the main stems below where you'd like to see the canopy. Choose 3, 4 or 5 stems for a gorgeous multi-trunked specimen. Keep trimming up those laterals for a few years as your tree takes shape. How fun to make your mark on your landscape!

Deadhead flower clusters as they fade will encourage more blooms. Let this simple task become an exercise in mindful outdoor meditation. Give some attention to your garden, and it will reward you a thousand-fold.

All of the Black Diamond® Crape Myrtles are low maintenance, highly resistant to mildew, and are relatively drought tolerant once established.

  • Best Display in Full Sun
  • Regular Moisture - Drought Tolerant Once Established
  • Adaptable To All Well-Drained Soil
  • Prune in Spring To Shape
  • Disease Resistant & Seldom Bothered By Deer

These amazing plants have been naturalized in the United States for hundreds of years. Whether you know them as Crapemyrtle or Crepe Myrtle, Best Red™ from the revolutionary Black Diamond® series of Crape Myrtles is truly one of the best reds on the market!

You get a whole lot of bang for the buck with the Black Diamond® Best Red™ variety. Stunning black foliage is an inky backdrop to the vivid red blooms from spring to fall. Order yours today from Nature Hills!

Single Stem, Multi Stem, Shrub Form, Oh My!

Before you buy, make sure you know what you’re getting! Single stem, multi stem and shrub forms are different so read a bit about which we’re currently offering below.

Single Stem: 

These are plants that have one stem coming from the ground. Plants can also be considered single stem when lower branches are removed to raise the height of the branching. Sometimes, you will hear a single stem referred to as Tree Form.

Multi Stem:

These are plants with 2 or more stems planted together in the ground in close proximity to form a clump. There are times multi stems are formed by a tree that branches at the soil line with more than one main stem. 

Shrub Form:

These are bushy plants with many stems and branchings close to the ground. They are referred to as shrubs or bushes and are often shorter than their tree forms.

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Black Diamond® Best Red™ Crape Myrtle Shrub Is Suited to Grow in Zones 6-10
Growing Zones 6-10
More Information
Brand Black Diamond
Botanical Name Lagerstroemia BLACK DIAMOND 'Best Red'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 10 - 12 feet
Mature Spread 8 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Low Once Established
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Bright Red
Foliage Deciduous
Foliage Color Dark Red Black
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Early Spring