Crape Myrtle Bushes: Types and Care (With Pictures)

Multi-stemmed blooming shrubs with dazzling red, white, pink, or purple flowers include crepe myrtle bushes (Lagerstroemia indica). Summer-flowering crepe myrtle plants create spectacular floral displays that attract birds and pollinators, transforming huge bushes into colorful flowers. In warm regions, you may cultivate beautiful crape myrtle trees. In lovely garden landscapes, they are excellent shrub borders, specimens, and container plants.

Little, compact dwarf shrubs or big, towering floral bushes may be found growing among crape myrtle bushes. Crape myrtles will bloom year after year as long as you plant them in full sun and warm climates. From early summer through late autumn, you may see the huge colorful flower panicles (clusters of spike-shaped flowers).

The most common forms of crape myrtle bushes are covered in this article. The ideal crape myrtle bush for your front or backyard will be chosen by photos of these shrubby plants and descriptions of their flowers, bark, and foliage. Crape myrtle shrub care is also addressed in this article.

What is Crape Myrtle Bush?

Crepe myrtle is a small to medium-sized deciduous shrub with many stems. It grows quickly. With a spreading, vase-like form and flat-topped development, crepe myrtles have a constrained development habit. Crape Myrtle bushes have flowers with crepe-like petals, orange or red fall foliage, and intriguing pinkish-gray, mottled, peeling bark that are all appealing features.

In USDA zones 6 through 10, crepe myrtle bushes thrive. Myrtle blossoms with hues of reds, whites, pinks, and purples bloom brightly in late-spring and early-fall on the blooming myrtle bushes. Some varieties of crape myrtles bloom all winter long. Drought, mild frost, and poor soil are all tolerated by these tough shrubs.

Crape Myrtle Bush Vs. Crape Myrtle Tree

The crape myrtle bush is shorter than the crape myrtle tree, with numerous stems. Multiple stems and a height of 2 to 15 feet (0.6 to 4.5 meters) characterize crepe myrtle bushes. The bushes may be up to 20 feet (6 meters) taller than the crpe myrtle trees. Crape myrtle trees may reach a height of 35 feet (10 meters).

How Big do Crape Myrtle Bushes Get?

Dwarf crape myrtle bushes may grow as little as two feet (0.6 m) tall. Depending on the type of bush, the bigger crape myrtle plants may grow from five to fifteen feet (1.5 to 4.5 meters) tall. The crown of most types of flowering crape myrtle bushes is broad, often wider than the bush is tall. It may range from 5 to 15 feet broad.

When Do Crape Myrtle Bushes Flower?

From the middle of May or the beginning of June, crape myrtle bushes bloom in a variety of red, pink, purple, and white colors. During the fall, crepe myrtle trees blossom for three or four months. When the first frost hits, some of the toughest crape myrtle bushes are still in bloom.

Little flowers with wrinkled petals make up the clusters of crepe myrtle. The thin, shriveled petals of Lagerstroemia resemble crepe paper, and their popular name is “crape myrtle” or “crepe myrtle.” Their flowers are also similar to those of true myrtle species in the genus Myrtus, as they resemble those of the genus’s true myrtle plants.

Crape Myrtle Bush Leaves

In the summer, crape myrtle leaves are dark green, but in the autumn, they change to yellow, orange, or red. The little deciduous oval leaves are up to 2″ or 3″ (5 – 7.5 cm) long and have rounded ends. Pinnately growing patterns of crepe myrtle leaves appear on stems and grow in opposition.

In the fall, Crepe Myrtle leaves

How to Care for Crape Myrtle Bushes

Crape myrtle bushes should be grown in full sun and well-drained soil for optimum care. Soil quality isn’t a concern for Crepe Myrtle bushes, as long as the ground doesn’t become waterlogged. To keep the soil moist, water the shrubby plant on a regular basis. Early spring or late fall are the ideal planting seasons for crape myrtle shrubs.

To bloom abundantly,Crepe myrtle bushes need at least six hours of sunlight each day. These bushes may tolerate some shade, but they produce fewer flower clusters as a result. While crape myrtle plants are drought-tolerant, keeping the soil wet promotes vigorous development and profusion of lovely blooms.

Planting crape myrtle bushes far enough apart to allow for adequate air circulation would be ideal. Space the shrubby bushed five feet apart if the rounded crown has a width of five feet (1.5 m). To create a flowering privacy barrier, you may also plant numerous tiny or dwarf shrubs in a row.

Pruning Crape Myrtle Bushes

Pruning crape myrtle trees helps encourage new growth, make the tree look better, and clean away dead branches. Crape myrtle bushes, on the other hand, need very little trimming and just a little thinning of its compact growth. Over-pruning crape myrtles may cause them to have too much foliage and no flowers.

Always trim crape myrtle bushes in the winter if you want to prune them. Consider the mature size of the shrub or tree before planting crape myrtle trees to improve your garden landscape. With little care, crepe myrtles flourish. Therefore, choose one of the semi-dwarf cultivars if you just want your shrub to grow four or five feet tall.

Types of Crape Myrtle Bushes (With Pictures)

Summer garden landscapes can be enhanced with the addition of cascading myrtle bushes (Lagerstroemia indica). The multi-stemmed shrub-like trees provide a burst of color in the spring through the summer. Since crape myrtle bushes have thick foliage, they provide additional interior seclusion.

Tall Crape Myrtle Bushes (With Pictures)

Tall crape myrtle shrubs, which may grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall, are large bushes. To enhance your garden’s aesthetics, let’s take a closer look at some of the taller varieties of Lagerstroemia indica.

Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Acoma’)

The white flowers of the Acoma crape myrtle bush (left) are shown in close up, and the shrub-like tree is shown in full bloom (right). Between 6 and 9 feet (1.8 and 2.7 meters) tall, this towering deciduous shrub Acoma crape myrtle’s weeping growth habit is its most distinguishing characteristic. In the summer, the drooping, pendulous branches generate cascading white blooms and lustrous green leaves.

An umbrella-like rounded crown characterizes Acoma crape myrtle bushes or tiny trees. A little shade is provided by the branches, which droop somewhat. The crown of the semi-dwarf trees may be up to 11 feet (3.3 meters) wide. Acoma crape myrtles bloom with clusters of gorgeous white blooms from early summer to late autumn.

The tree is covered in white by the crepe-like petals. The glossy green leaves turn a dark purple color in the autumn, when the flowers fall.

Apalachee Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Apalachee’)

The pale purple blooms of the Apalachee crape myrtle (left) are shown up close. Clusters of light purple, lavender-colored blooms adorn this crape myrtle variety. ‘Apalachee’ crape myrtle trees bloom from the middle of July to the middle of August. In the autumn, the dark green leaves turn crimson and orange.

The growing conditions have a big influence on the mature size of crape myrtle ‘Apalachee’ plants. The tall crape myrtle bushes in warm zones and in full sun may grow up to 12 feet (3.6 m). The shrub, on the other hand, has a significantly shorter height in USDA zones 5 and 6.

The stems may die back to the ground if temperatures fall below freezing. Only tiny crape myrtle shrubs, only a few feet high, grow among some smaller species of ‘Apalachee.’ As a specimen shrub or perennial border, this crape myrtle variety thrives. In warm climates, you may grow this variety as a multi-stemmed specimen shrub in full sun or as an informal colorful hedge.

Tonto Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Tonto’)

Close-up image of the crimson flowers (right) of the red crepe myrtle bush (left) This 10-foot (3-meter) high hybrid crape myrtle plant grows as a tall bush. The upright, vase-shaped development and flat-topped crown of this compact multi-stemmed shrub In the summer, flowers bloom on the tree. To create rich hues in garden landscapes, choose Crepe myrtle ‘Tonto’ bushes as specimen shrubs. In the autumn, the thick leafy leaves turn deep crimson. The bark of the shrub is mottled brown and tan in color during the winter.

The hybrid variety, like other crape myrtle types, thrives in full sun. The hardy shrub is drought tolerant once it has established. However, in hot weather, you’ll need to water it frequently. This hybrid is also resistant to powdery mildew, a disease that affects this plant genus and affects other types of crape myrtle.

Catawba Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Catawba’)

The purple blooms of the Catawba crape myrtle are shown in close up (right) and a shrub (left). ‘Catawba’ crape myrtle has crepe-like purple flowers and a vase-shaped growth with a wide-spreading crown that has dense, colorful foliage. ‘Catawba’ crape myrtles grow to be 10–15 feet (3–4.5 meters) tall and have new leaves in the spring that are a beautiful bronze color.

The bark of the multi-stemmed shrub is smooth and cinnamon in color, making it winter-worthy.

The outstanding feature of the ‘Catawba’ shrubs is their long-lasting, showy flowers. The shrub starts blooming in late summer, and the purple and lavender flower clusters last until the fall.

Purple ‘Catawba’ crape myrtle may be grown as a single-stemmed tree with the proper care. Remove suckers every spring to grow this variety as a small landscaping tree. The base of the tree’s trunk is where suckers sprout up.


Small Crape Myrtle Shrubs

In tiny, compact residential and urban gardens, crepe myrtle bushes are excellent. Every year, colorful flower panicles appear on some of the smaller and dwarf cultivars. The downsides of these tiny trees, on the other hand, are that they only grow to a few feet tall.

Chickasaw Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Chickasaw’)

A small plant that grows up to 2 ft. (0.6 m) tall, the Chickasaw crape myrtle shrub is a native of the south-central United States. The little bush is covered in lovely pinkish lavender blooms. From late spring until frost, this dwarf shrub brightens up landscapes with its vivid hues.

Glassy, thick foliage, papery flowers, and short development are among the other appealing aspects of the Chickasaw crape myrtle. USDA zones 7 through 9 are ideal for growing Chickasaw crape myrtle minor bushes. In zones 5 and 6, the small plant can tolerate frost, but you’ll need to keep the top growth protected from freezing.

The Chickasaw crape myrtle shrub is a popular landscaping plant because of its small size. Foundation plantings, low-growing flowering hedges, and container for deck areas and patios are all possible uses for Chickasaw bushes. To add bright pink summer colors to your rock gardens, you can also plant ‘Chickasaw’ crape myrtles.

Petite Plum Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Monum’)

The Petite Plum crape myrtle variety is a dwarf tree that grows as a huge shrub. It has tiny plum blossoms. This cultivar produces dense glossy-green leaves throughout the growing season and grows to be up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall. In the summer, Petite Plum crape myrtle flowers offer a burst of brilliant colors with their light red to plum hues. Branchless and stemless little plum crape myrtle bushes have a spreading vase form with an upright growth habit. The plant may grow up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) broad.

The USDA zones 7 through 9 are ideal for this crape myrtle variety. Despite the fact that it can handle drought, on hot sunny summer days, you must provide it with plenty of water. The compact shrub is suited for mass planting, flowering hedges, and container growing with some trimming. When it is in bloom throughout the summer, the purple-dark pink blossoms provide a lot of floral appeal.

Crape Myrtle ‘Delta Blush’ (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Delta Blush’)

From June through September, crape myrtles with light pink flower clusters add pastel colors to gardens. The somewhat drooping branches of this cultivar are another characteristic. The Delta Blush, a small weeping crape myrtle, releases a cascade of cascading pink blooms. Foundation plants, colorful borders, mass plantings, and containers are all ideal places for minature crape myrtle plants like the ‘Delta Blush.

The crape myrtle ‘Delta Blush’ has extremely dense branching, resulting in oblong leaves that are up to 3″ (7.5 cm) long. Summer brings out the deep green leaves, which are juxtaposed with the bright pastel colors. Then, before falling, the leaves change color from red to orange. The decorative shrub has a lot of winter appeal due to its multi-colored peeling bark.

Petite Orchid Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Monhid’)

The Petite Orchid cultivar is a small crape myrtle bush with flowers. Crepe-like flowers in a deep pink-purple color bloom on the dwarf shrub. The Lagerstroemia petite orchid shrub is best suited for planting in front of the home, along borders, in rock gardens, or in pots because to its fast development and short height.

How to Grow Crape Myrtle Bushes in Containers

Growing tiny crape myrtle plants in pots is a great idea. A rich, all-purpose potting mix with superb drainage suits the potted crape myrtle bushes. In your garden, patio, entryway, or backyard, position the container in a sunny location. To keep the soil evenly moist, water the plant daily throughout the summer.

It’s simple to grow crape myrtle bushes in pots. For indoor plants, use a fertilizer that is balanced and slow-release. Eight weeks before the first frost, stop fertilizing. At the end of the fall in temperate zones, bring your potted crape myrtle inside.

Crape Myrtle Hedge

Growing dwarf crape myrtle bushes as a flowering privacy screen is a great idea. Perfect natural screens include dense foliage, bushy growth, and a compact form. Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Tonto’ and Lagerstroemia indica ‘Monum’ are the preferred grape myrtle hedge varieties.

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