Crape Myrtles

The Crape Myrtle is probably the most identifiable plant in Dallas. A native to southern Asia, it has adapted well to the North Texas landscape. But, as popular is the Crape Myrtle, most people do not know how to selectthe proper variety and maintain a Crape Myrtle for their landscape.

First of all, the mature size and growth habit need to be considered. Mature heights can range between 24 inches to 30 feet or more. So, if your intension is to maintain a height of 8'-10', please do not select a variety that can grow twice that size. Too often, you will see that scenario end up with a butchered pruning job that requires attention each spring.

The varieties that were traditionally grown in the nursery industry has changed. Faurei hybrids ( a cross between the south Asian(Lagerstroemia indica) and Japanese varieties (Lagerstroemia fauriei)) are now more widely grown. Most of these are the largest growing varieties and the nursery growers like these because many are naturally Powdery Mildew resistant and can grow very quickly, as much as 6 feet in a season. This helps them make more money and produce a product that looks better at the retail level. The problem is most yards are getting smaller and they require an ornamental tree that is smaller in scale.

Varieties such as 'Pink Velour' and 'Sioux' grow smaller and tend to be scaled to most suburban home sites better than large varieties like 'Bashams Party Pink', and 'Natchez'.

One of the best internet sites I have found relating to crape myrtle information is produced by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Dallas