Lagerstroemia speciosa is a perennial or deciduous tree (crepe myrtle) from the family Lythraceae.
Size & Growth
These hardy and beautiful trees look majestic when in full bloom.
Under proper growing conditions, it can grow up to 20’ – 60’ feet tall.
The bark is smooth yet flaky with branches growing deciduous leaves.
The leaves are oval or elliptic, about 3”-5” inches long and 1” – 2” inches wide.
Even though the flowers bloom just once a year and the tree takes its time to grow, it is a great addition to backyards and even along roadsides.
Flowering and Fragrance
The inflorescences of the crepe-myrtle are its glory. The crinkled, crepe-paper-like flowers are favored among gardening enthusiasts and cultivators alike.
The plants start producing flowers after 2-6 years of growth. The bloom time is during early summer/late spring or in mid-summer.
The flowers grow on erect panicles, each measuring at about 8” – 15.5” inches long. Each flower has six petals in white, purple or pink colors.
Light & Temperature
It is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 10. It loves full sun exposure when planted in moist, rich soil.
The annual daytime temperatures between 64° – 93° degrees Fahrenheit (18° – 34° C) are suitable for the plant.
In some locations, it can tolerate temperatures down to 28° degrees Fahrenheit (-2° C) but it may have a negative impact on the plant’s growth.
Watering and Feeding
It has regular water needs – 1″ per week. It tolerates a normal amount of water during the growing season.
Avoid overwatering as it may harm the roots and may even cause root rot.
The tree appreciates regular fertilizing as the leaves become anemic or chlorotic.
Soil & Transplanting
These crepe myrtles thrive in fairly fertile and well-drained soils.
Rich, deep, and alluvial loam-like soils with good drainage and moisture retention are the optimal choice.
They are tolerant of alkaline soils but prefer a 5.5 to 7.5 pH.
As for transplanting, new shoots are moved easily when they are still establishing roots.
However, it’s not recommended to move the plant around.
Grooming and Maintenance
Pruning is not necessary but is done to help shape the foliage and help its growth.
Deadhead spent flowers but it’s not necessary to do so.
It is otherwise a very easy to grow and low maintenance tree.