Crape Myrtle Trees
Crape Myrtle Trees
Add One or More Crape Myrtle Trees and Shrubs
Looking for a Crape Myrtle bush white blooms to decorate your space? Or do red flowers suit your style better?
Elegant Crape Myrtle trees are a much-loved, four-season plant for warm winter growing zones. Eye-catching summer flowers grace them during the second half of the growing season.
Dramatic Crape Myrtle Flowers Bloom For Months
Crape Myrtle varieties offer a huge range of flowers, including white, pink, red, purple and every shade in between. Many of them are punctuated with a brilliant yellow center for sassy charm.
These spectacular colors are showcased in mid- to late summer. This is when each branch is tipped with a 6- to 12-inch cluster of red, pink, white, lavender or purple delicate flowers.
No other flowering shrub has such a long blooming season! There are 120 known varieties, and breeders have been working hard with this magnificent plant to bring improvements to market.
Size and form is another important differentiator. Choose a pint-sized plant for small space gardens...and you'll avoid having to prune for size control!
Get Help with Your Decision from our Plant Experts
Watch our Selection Guide to help you pick the best Crape Myrtle.
You Can't Go Wrong With a Crape Myrtle!
People often wonder if Crape Myrtles are evergreen? We do sell a Wax Myrtle evergreen plant for sale...but deciduous Crape Myrtles lose their leaves after a great fall color display.
In fall, the leaves turn beautiful red, orange and yellow colors, depending on the type you select. The fall color is listed on every product page...just click on the pictures of Crape Myrtles to see all the Plant Highlight details for each cultivar.
But Crape Myrtle bush pictures don't do these frilly flowers and fall color justice. Grow them in your garden for a lavish presentation from summer through fall!
Even after leaf drop, good-looking Crape Myrtles feature attractive bark. The beautiful bark exfoliates to reveal fresh pinkish bark beneath for a very welcome pop of winter interest..People grow these show-offs as both single stem trees and multi-stemmed shrubs. All it takes is a little pruning around the base of your tree to expose the beautiful, vari-colored bark.
Enjoy the eye candy as you shop for Crape Myrtles on our site. The wide panicles of crinkled blooms add an astonishing amount of visual interest!
These Fabulous Ornamental Trees are a National Treasure!
Crape Myrtle Trees (Lagerstroemia indica and Laegerstromeia fauriei) are native to Asia, but seeds were brought to the United States at least 200 years ago.
Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew Crape Myrtle trees on their estates as lovely flowering specimens. It's nicknamed the "Lilac of the South" and supports honey bees and songbirds with nectar and shelter.
Crape Myrtles have long been naturalized in the United States. Today, they are widely grown throughout much of the United States in growing Zones 6 - 10 across the warmer areas of North America.
Crape Myrtles have been beloved by homeowners for a long time as either shrubs or small trees. Today, it's hard to imagine Southern and Western gardens without the gorgeous flower colors of the Crape Myrtle.
The Future of Crape Myrtle Breeding
We're always looking for new Crape Myrtles to delight our customers. Modern plant breeders are hard at work bringing disease-resistance, cold-hardy options and increased drought tolerance to the marketplace.
Some people want smaller plants but others are looking for the fastest growing Crepe Myrtle varieties. Check our site regularly to find hot choices like White Chocolate Crape Myrtle and Carolina Beauty Crape Myrtle...as we are always bringing on new cultivars to keep our customers happy.
Smaller Crape Myrtles and Darker Foliage that Stands up to the Heat
These days, there are varieties of all colors that stay small. Smaller varieties are ideal for informal hedges and keeping in containers.
There are now smaller dwarf varieties, such as the First Editions Midnight Magic, that stay compact.
Deep, richly dark foliage is another very desirable trait. The Black Diamond series display reliably dark purple leaves from spring through fall.
Choose the Right Variety for Your Landscape Needs
For years, the only Crape Myrtles available grew 15 to 20 feet tall. These include the gorgeous, white-flowered Natchez variety, which is typically planted to anchor a foundation and trained by pruning to grow as a single-trunked shade tree.
Give large varieties enough room to grow as a single stem Crape Myrtle trees. You'll be absolutely delighted by them with enough space.
But crowd a full-size cultivar into the wrong place, and you'll likely give yourself an ongoing maintenance routine. Sure, Crapes can be kept smaller...but why make more work for yourself?
There are a lot of ways to enjoy the beauty of this versatile plant in your landscape.
Low-growing dwarf varieties make wonderful foundation plants that won't cover your windows. Try these planted in mass, all along a sunny garden border.
Space them three to four feet apart for a solid screen. Have fun playing with color combinations!
Try an "ombre" effect by planting lighter blooms near the house, and gradually mix into darker blooms further along the garden border? That would really pop, and would be an easy way to add a ton of interest to your landscape.
Pink Velour Crape Mrytle is a semi-dwarf variety that grows about 12 feet tall. One planted at the corner of your home would be a lovely way to boost your curb appeal.
Vase-shaped Crape Myrtle Trees are multi-stemmed and can be trained into a tree-form quite easily. Give them room to grow!
If you are using them near a house or building, measure from their center to length of their mature spread. They appreciate some "elbow room" to access the exterior without running into your pretty tree.
Mid-sized Plum Magic Crape Myrtle is a great screening plant. You can simply let the natural shape grow into a shrub form to help hide unwanted views.
Plant a single specimen at the corner of your house; or use it to create a focal point in a garden bed. Plant them near windows, so you can enjoy their dazzling blooms indoors...where it's nice and cool during the heat of the summer!
Use one of the larger varieties for a fabulous yard tree to decorate an outdoor seating area. What a wonderful garden experience to gift yourself, family and friends!
Design Tips to Make the Most of Your Crape Myrtles
Don't worry about the roots of Crepe Myrtle trees, as they are non-aggressive. That's why you'll see so many Crape Myrtle flowers decorating street plantings, along sidewalks and driveways.
Of course, even Crape Myrtle tree roots will spread in search of water and nutrients. Please study the Plant Highlights to see the mature height and spread of your selected cultivar as a best practice.
Complete your plantings with your favorite small flowering shrubs and perennials. Hydrangeas bloom around the same time, and make a dynamic partner on the east side of your Crape Myrtle.
Anchor a mulched patio planting bed with tall, red-flowering Crape Myrtle varieties like Dynamite. Include spring-flowering Bulbs, Mount Airy Fothergilla and First Editions® Love Child™ Sweetspire for a colorful, butterfly-friendly focal point.
Cold Winters and Crape Myrtles
Now, to keep an older variety small—or correct a "Crape Murder"—some homeowners will simply cut the plants to the ground each spring. This rejuvenation prune can be done every year, or as needed for size control.
In the Northern parts of the growing region, a cold winter may do this, too. We call it "nature's pruning".
When this happens, the plant will die back to the ground. The plant will then produce extremely large flowers on a few main stems that grow about 4 feet tall in a single season.
In colder winters, Crape Myrtle trees are root hardy; which means the tops will die back. New growth will appear from the crown in spring.
In this setting, consider Crape Myrtle for an effective ground cover plant. Space them out in a zig-zagging planting pattern and mulch between the plants.
If you want a low hedge or groundcover...please select a dwarf cultivar. First Editions® Midnight Magic™ Crape Myrtle stays low naturally, but spreads wide.
Dwarf and semi-dwarf Crape Myrtle bushes can be kept in containers for many, many years. Even northern gardeners in Zones 3 - 5 can finally enjoy their elegant charm with a little winter prep.
Northern Gardeners, Try Crape Myrtles in Containers
If you live in USDA Zones 3 - 5, you can still use a smaller variety of Crape Myrtle as a gorgeous "Thriller" in a seasonal container. What's not to love about months of fabulous blooms, tropical looks, and hardy disposition?
In late fall, bring the container into the garage for the winter. Give your plant a drink of water once a month.
In spring, once the threat of frost is passed, bring it back out to enjoy for another season. A wheeled plant caddy under your container makes it easy!
Bold colors of Crape Myrtles add unforgettable energy to large outdoor containers. Try a pair on either side of the entrance to your outdoor kitchen...or use a series of them along your pool deck for an effortless high-end look!
Crape or Crepe? Which is Right?
This debate rages on. You'll see both used on the Internet...with lots of emotion behind the vigorous debate.
Some people think the blooms look like crinkled "crepe" paper, so they call these plants Crepe Myrtles. Crape, Crepe, or Crapemyrtle...and they make a big visual impact in the landscape!
Can we chalk this up to regional differences and get back to enjoying the gorgeous flowers, distinctive smooth bark and wild fall color? After all, a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet!
#ProPlantTips for Pruning Crape Myrtles
Since they bloom on new wood, Crape Myrtle Trees should be pruned in early spring Prune before the new growth starts, so that the current season's stems can produce flowers.
Remove old flowers before they set seed can promote a second wave of showy flowers. In spring, you'll also want to remove basal "suckers" from the base of the tree.
Remove any deadwood, crossed branches, or branches that are growing into the center of the tree. You want to have an open interior of the tree.
Prune these undesirable branches all the way back to the main stem to increase light and air flow into the center of your tree. The goal is to get more light and air circulation into your tree.
Keep the strongest branches intact to support the beautiful flowers later in the season. Avoid "topping" or pollarding your Crapes, as the whippy new growth isn't able to hold the heavy blooms up.
Pruning Crape Myrtle into Showy Trees
Train up a larger variety as an ornamental tree by removing any lower lateral branches along the main stems up to 5 feet. Leave a few stems for a multi-stemmed clump, or prune out all but the largest "trunk".
Pollarding is an ancient technique used by Europeans for Willow and Alder trees. Topping the branches creates a callous (called knuckles) where slender new growth can be harvested for animal fodder or withes for basketry.
Some people pollard Crape Myrtle, too, They'll lop off the tops of all the branches at the same height.
Unfortunately, pollarding isn't the best way to prune Crape Myrtles. This won't give you the look you want as the new growth will be spindly and won't be able to support the weight of the heavy blooms.
Crape Myrtle flowers are heavy, so pollarding doesn't often work. The new, whippy branches are simply too slender to cope with their weight.
How to Grow Crape Myrtle
These are sun-loving plants that need at least six hours of direct sun every day. These tough plants can really take the heat!
Plant in full sun to protect your plant and encourage the best performance. Morning sun is best, as it helps the leaves dry off from overnight dew.
Crape Myrtles require good air circulation for best results. Partial shade will reduce the amount of blooms.
Care for Crape Myrtles with a planting site with well-drained soil. If you have poorly draining soil, such as clay, consider creating a rounded berm or raised bed of soil heaped about 18 inches high.
Dig your planting hole almost as deep as the container, and twice as wide. Don't forget the Nature Hills Root Booster for lifetime support of your healthy plants.
Plant Crape Myrtles a bit higher than other plants.
Ensure you see an inch of the potting material peeking up at the top of the newly dug hole. Add a three-inch layer of shredded bark mulch over the top of the root system; then pull it back away from directly touching the trunk.
Reapply 2-4 inches of mulch every year, especially if you'll be placing the tree in your lawn. Give it a wide circle of mulch, so you won't risk damage from string trimmers.
When you water, focus on the ground, not the foliage. Drip irrigation or soaker hoses are best, as they place the water directly where the plant needs it.
Once your Crape Myrtle is well established in the ground, they'll become rugged and drought tolerant. However, we do like to recommend supplemental water in hot weather to protect your investment.
Create the landscape of your dreams with the marvelous blooms of Crape Myrtles. You'll never regret this versatile, showy choice!
Start a collection of all the different colors. Our growers take great pride in our high-end Crape Myrtles...or Crepe Myrtles, if you prefer!