Crape Myrtles

In the summertime, Crape Myrtles are the ornamental tree or shrub for the south.  Many different spellings of Crape Myrtles seem to be acceptable.

In 2006, the year after we moved here, we planted three Dynamite Crape Myrtles.  These were my first ever Crape Myrtles.

This variety was chosen because I wanted a deep red bloom.  It’s interesting that some are actually deep red but others are a lighter pinkish.

Crape Myrtles survive both droughts and humility making it perfect for the damper areas of the deep south and the long periods without rain here in hot, dry Texas.

This corner of the yard has 2 Crape Myrtles of two different varieties.

Planted in 2012, Basham’s Party Pink Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Basham’s Party Pink’) is the tallest of all Crape Myrtle.  They can grow to 30′ tall.

The two shorter trees are Centennial Spirit Crapemyrtle (Lagerstoemia indica ‘Centennial Spirit’) which were planted in 2015.  I actually went looking for this specific Crape Myrtle and found them in the Metroplex.

Imagine my disappointment at their performance.  They have grown a little taller, but hardly ever bloom.  When they do bloom, it’s just a few little flowers.

A good place to see different varieties of Crape Myrtles is McKinney, Texas, which calls itself the the Crape Myrtle Capitol of Texas.

Other lists are available one-line.

This Black Diamond Crapemyrtle was planted in 2016.  The foliage started out black, but new branches have reverted to green leaves.  Even though it’s in a flowerbed, it gets full sun.  That’s essential for Crapemyrtles.

In another bed, Victor Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Victor’) was planted in 2013. Unfortunately, some other shrubs around it have grown really tall and full.  So, they crowd out the sunlight.  There’s a few blooms each year.  The roots are intertwined with other shrubs, so it can’t be removed.  Poor planning on my part.

Now, to my very favorite Crape Myrtle – “Alamo Fire” Red Crepe Myrtle, which was planted in 2016.  Immediately it began to bloom.

The blooms are so large and gorgeous.

We bought three at a flower show in San Antonio.  The guy selling them was a friend of the hybridizer.  I don’t think they’ve ever gone on the market.  And they were so cheap.  He tried to get me to buy more, but I didn’t think I had room.

Yes, I’ve kicked myself many times since then.

This year I found a small pot of Barista Crapemyrtle.  It’s doing amazing well and grown to about 8 inches and is already blooming.

The branches should be trimmed a little in late winter since they bloom on new growth.  But they should never be chopped off at the top.  Don’t commit ‘Crepe Murder.’  it’s not only wrong in Charlotte, it’s against the law.  Maybe we need that law in Texas.

“Who is the happiest of men?  He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even though t’were his own.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)

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