Crape Myrtle

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I have always noticed a particular plant that is grown on many road dividers. Yesterday, on my way to an eatery for breakfast, I decided to stop and take some pictures of the small trees.

They have big, showy flowers that last for two to four months.

This shrub is commonly known as Crape Myrtle.

Its botanic name is Lagerstroemia Indica.

They have large panicles of lovely crinkled flowers with a crepe-like texture that are long-lasting.

The large panicles colour vary from red shades to lavender (no picture here) to white.

This shrub is best grown in average, medium-moisture and well-drained soil in full sunlight.

Have you planted one in your garden before? I wonder if this plant can grow well in medium-sized containers. If it does, maybe I should consider getting one for my garden :-)

Updated on 21 May 2009: Pictures of Crape Myrtle's purple and red panicles...

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  1. Steph,

    We have pink Crape Myrtle in our front yard, they bloom during spring, it is very beautiful. If you put some pebbles in a larger container, and some potting soil, I am sure it will grow well. It is evergreen plant and will only bloom once a year here, I am not sure how often you will get the flowers in tropical area.

  2. Steph, Crape Myrtle is another beautiful shrub that is often seen in Bermuda. I don't have one myself, but have often admired these beautiful plants in many gardens across the island. If you try it in a pot, I suggest getting the largest pot you can manage. I also believe that many nurseries sell a dwarf variety. This would be more suitable for container culture.

  3. Steph, you beaten me to it:) The Crepe Myrtles are blooming on our road dividers too. They're mostly in pinks and whites and I'd been thinking of a post too. Your photos/colours are lovely!
    I planted one (pink) in my garden in Jan, knowing fully well I should've used a pot. Small space is a big issue! Like Prospero's suggested to you, I may have to re-plant it in a large container.

  4. Hi Steph, I have planted, along side of my driveway, 5 Crepe Myrtles, and they have become 'trees'. They can grow very large, if you let them. Each year, we do cut them down about half way, but they continue to widen at the trunk and the branches continue to thicken and grow and send out many new shoots with buds then flower just beautifully! They look very 'bare' all winter long, mainly they becomew just tall trunks with no tops on them...but then suddenly they have started to leaf out and they are getting greener and more lovely with the passing of each day...soon they will bloom in a gorgeous fuschia color, and I just love them. They'll be blooming into Sept. I probably could also grow some as shrubs, in pots...perhaps those are a different variety, a shorter type? Thanks for your nice description and info (I spell them 'Crepe' Myrtle instead of 'Crape' Myrtle. I think both spellings are correct.

  5. Hey Stephanie, do they smell good?

  6. Steph,
    I grew up in north Florida, which is very tropical and probably not so different in climate from Malaysia. Crape myrtle as a tree is very popular there and throughout the southern United States. When we were kids we used to squeeze the buds and watch the flowers pop out. I believe there are dwarf versions, maybe they would work in a container...

  7. Hi Steph, I have a white dwarf crape myrtle that's survived our winters and in it's 8th year but I keep trying to grow the pink/purple variety and they NEVER survive...even this late in spring, there's no signs of life on it...guess it's coming out! They are pretty huh?

  8. It is so good to know that some people call this plant 'Crepe' Myrtle instead. Though the flower has no smell when I was there, the blooms are beautiful and definitely not 'crapy' at all :-D

    Your comments are very helpful. Certainly, the dwarf variety would be more suitable for my small container garden. And the next time I see this plant, now I know I can squeeze the buds to watch the flower pops out :-)

  9. Crepe Myrtle hates me!

    I tried growing it from a dormant plant. No.
    I tried growing it from seed. No.
    I tried cuttings. No.

    Everybody in the world can grow it.

    Why can't I?

  10. Wow, Steph, the crape myrtles are just gorgeous. I have one that dies back every winter here and then comes back. It is more of a bush here than a tree.I think it is wonderful that they have planted them for everyone to enjoy.

  11. I first saw crepe myrtle blooming on the dividers in New Orleans, LA. Beautiful! But I've never seen the variety of colors you photographed. THANK YOU!

  12. Ooooh...! The last ones are so beautiful! I've never seen the red ones! Even the purple ones look delicious!

    I went through some of the comments here about the spelling. Initially I thought 'crape' was wrong but was glad to learn that both are correct.

    It's truly wonderful to see that many colours in one post. Thanks for the post...and then for the bonus!

  13. Very pretty flowers. Sometimes we have beautiful plants all around us but we don't realise they're there because we're so busy running around!



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