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Plant of the Month
Crape Myrtle or Lagerstroemia indica are deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees occurring in deciduous woodland, often near rivers in warm-temperate and tropical regions from Asia to Australia. Of the family Lythraceae they are cultivated for their conical, brightly colored panicles of flowers, with characteristic crinkled petals and for their often peeling bark.
Common Name: Crape Myrtle
Botanical Name: Lagerstroemia indica
Plant Type: Deciduous or evergreen shrub or tree
Origin: Asia to Australia
Rate of Growth: Medium
Salt Tolerance: None
Soil Requirements: Moderately fertile, well-drained soil
Water Requirements: Moderate drought tolerance, water sparingly when not actively growing otherwise water freely
Nutritional Requirements: Medium, balanced liquid fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during active growth
Light Requirements: Full sun
Form: Shrub or tree
Leaves: Dark green to 4" long, oblong
Flowers: Brightly colored panicles of crinkled crape-like flowers in white, pink, red or purple.
Fruits: None of interest
Pests or diseases: Dieback, powdery mildew, aphids, scale insects, mealybugs and white flies.
Uses: Hedge, screen, group plantings or specimen plant
Bad Habits: None
Cost: $$ -- reasonable
Propagation: Seed sown at 50-55 °F in spring, softwood cuttings in late spring or semi-ripe cuttings with bottom heat in summer.
Sources: A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, The Subtropical Garden
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Plants of the Month Index
Last updated 06/03/08