Crepe Myrtle plants are one of the most common plants in the south. These plants are known to be year-round bloomers. They have many brilliant colors, including dynamite red, peppermint pink, Natchez white, that can be viewed all year. Areas that have long, cool Autumns will have the best display of Crepe Myrtles to see. If the Crepe Myrtles are in colder regions, the frost they get right after summer will damage the leaves, and they will not have a pretty show to display for everyone to see.
Most Crepe Myrtles that are in gardens are the hybrids of Crepe Myrtles. These are primarily hardy plants and have very showy bark and leaves when they bloom. The Queens Crepe Myrtle only grows in the tropical South.
All Crepe Myrtles grow on new wood and should be pruned during the winter or early spring. If the Crepe Myrtle is a big tree, you will want to remove the basal suckers, crossing branches, twiggy growth, and any branches growing towards the center of the plant or shrub. While pruning the plants and large shrubs, you will want to remove the side branches that are four to five-foot; this will help expose the beauty of the bark on the tree or large shrub. While the plant is blooming, cut off the dead leaves and flowers, which will help the plant stay in bloom even longer. If you have a small Crepe Myrtle, you will want to prune the plant throughout the blooming season to promote health and further blooming of the plant.
There are many different types of Crepe Myrtles. There is the beautiful Japanese Crepe Myrtle that is native to Japan. The Japanese Crepe Myrtle will grow to be around twenty to thirty feet tall. The leaves on the Japanese Crepe Myrtle will be around four inches long and nearly two inches wide. It has a smooth bark that will flake away to reveal a different color as the season progress. The Japanese Crepe Myrtles will bloom in early summer and may bloom again in late summer.
The Catawba Crepe Myrtle will produce long-lasting clusters of dark purple Crepe flowers. The Catawba Crepe Myrtle will have a bronze color in the spring, a very bright green shade in the summer, and breathtaking orange to red color in the fall. That is one of those Crepe Myrtles that will bloom and grow nearly year-round.
The Queens Crepe Myrtle is the showiest of all the Crepe Myrtle shrubs and trees. The Queens Crepe Myrtle shows large clusters of many colors including, peppermint pink, Natchez white, and dynamite-red; These are the most common types of Crepe Myrtles in the Tropical South. Individual blossoms will reach three inches in diameter. These Crepe Myrtles are smooth and exfoliating bark. The annual pruning in the winter is essential on the Queen Crepe Myrtle to control the size and shape of the plant.
The Hybrid of the Crepe Myrtle, known as the Crepe Myrtle, is very hardy in the south. It can withstand heat, humidity, drought and are conducive to most soils as long as the grounds are drained well from standing water. The hybrid can be frozen to the ground in the winter but resprout in the summer. They will have leaves that are around two inches in length but be very narrow. They will very often turn brilliant red and orange in the fall to make a beautiful show of colors for all to see. The hybrid is trained as a tree and will have an attractive trunk and a branching pattern. The bark is a smooth grey that peels off to show us a pinkish inner bark that makes the tree even more pretty. Mildew can be a problem for this type of Crepe Myrtle. Merely spray the tree Triforine before the plant's bloom. That will help keep the mold off the plants and protect the tree for each blooming season.
All types of Crepe Myrtles need to be grown in sunny locations where the air can move freely and with the gardener's help to prevent mildew and another disease. All Crepe Myrtles need moist soil that is moderately fertile and well-drained from standing water. All Crepe Myrtles bloom on new wood, so they need to be pruned regularly in early Spring or late Winter. This pruning will help to increase next summer's flower growth production.
Crepe Myrtles are relatively trouble-free, so they are easy for beginners to grow and take care of.
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