Myrtle plants ground cover

Crape Myrtle Grow Guide

Crape Myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica), often referred to as the “lilacs of the South”, are among the favorites of the South due to their early spring showy flowers, colorful autumn black foliage, and, in many cases, their attractive bark. Let us not forget the other wonderful features they possess, such as crape myrtles being drought tolerant, mildew resistant, fast growing and deer not usually being interested in them.

Crape myrtles can be used as a large deciduous hedge or screen, if planted together, or as a distinctive focal point framing a gate warmly welcoming visitors. Does great framing a driveway or a fence! While growing crape myrtles is not an issue in areas they are hardy to, for your crape myrtle to truly flourish we’ve created this guide to steer you in the best route. They are slightly cold tolerate for some southern states.

Use this Crape Myrtle Grow Guide as a handbook for planting, growing, and caring for your Crape Myrtle trees.

As always, be sure to check the USDA growing zones to make sure your zoned correctly.

Selection

Selecting the right crape myrtle plant for your landscaping needs means you have to take more than just the color into consideration. When choosing your crape myrtle, make sure to pay close attention to the plant’s mature height and width and if that fits the look you hope to achieve. This step will save you backaches and heartaches in the future. One question we are always asked is: How fast do crape myrtles grow? Check out this chart below for each cultivars specifics. Take note that the black diamond crape myrtle growth rate is about the same even though these dwarf varieties are mostly bush-like shrubs and trees. In general, crape myrtles grow at a medium to fast growth rate at about 1-2 feet per year. Hence where they get their nickname – fast growing trees!

Cultivar

Mature Height

Mature Width

Flower Color

Bark Color

Fall Leaf

Days of Flowering

Growth Habit

USDA Zone

Special Features

Arapaho 20 feet 10′ Cinnamon Brown Orange 120+ Upright Showy flowers
Pest & disease resistant
Attractive bark
Fast growth rate
Miami 8-12′ 10-12′ Chestnut Brown Orange to Dark Russet 100 Upright Grows like Natchez
Attractive bark
Attracts butterflies & hummingbirds
Muskogee 25-30 feet 15-25′ Light Gray Crimson red hot Orange 100 Broad-spreading Disease resistant
Blooms all summer
Drought tolerant
Fast growing
Natchez 25-30 feet 15-25′ Cinnamon Brown Crimson Red-Orange 100 Broad-spreading Attractive white blooms
Exfoliating, cinnamon colored bark
Fall color
Fast growing
Sioux 15-20′ 10-15′ Coral Pink Maroon 90 Upright; narrow Showy pink flowers
Fast growing
Drought tolerant
Fall color
Tonto 8-15′ 6-10′ Taupe Bright Maroon 75 Compact globose Showy flowers
Drought tolerant
Disease resistant
Semi-dwarf size
Tuscarora 18-25′ 15-18′ Light Brown Red-Orange 70 Vase; broad crown Showy flowers
Fast growing
Drought tolerant
Fall color
Red Rocket® 20 to 30 feet 10-15′ Gray/Cinnamon Bronze Red 120 Bush-like Showy red flowers
Repeat bloomer
Low maintenance
Fast growing
Black Diamond® Pure White™ Crape Myrtle 10-12′ 8′ Light Gray Black foliage 90 Bush-like Uniquely colored foliage
Bright white blooms
Drought tolerant
Great size for smaller gardens
Black Diamond® Best Red™ Crape Myrtle 10-12′ 8′ Light Gray Black foliage 90 Bush-like Deep red blooms
Uniquely colored foliage
Drought tolerant
Great size for smaller gardens
Black Diamond® Shell Pink™ Crape Myrtle 10-12′ 8′ Light Gray Black foliage 90 Bush-like Uniquely colored foliage
Bright pink blooms
Drought tolerant
Great size for smaller gardens

Check out this video on the Black Diamond Crape Myrtle varieties!

Location

Choose the best place in the landscape for to plant crape myrtle. Consider the ultimate size of the small tree and note if there might eventually be problems with overhead wires, poles, structures or other desirable trees or large shrubs. Perfect Plants’ Black Diamond crape myrtle trees get only 10-12 feet tall and spread just 8 feet across, but some of the older cultivars (such as ‘Natchez’, ‘Red Rocket’ and ‘Tuscarora’) get considerably larger.

Crape myrtles do best in full sun – the sunnier the spot, the better, but they should get at least 6 hours of sun each day. Crape myrtles bloom poorly in partial sun and may not bloom at all in a mostly shady location. Crape myrtles like a soil that is relatively moist but still well drained. Once established, however, they do well in dry, sandy soils. Crape myrtles do not tolerate soils that stay waterlogged for extended periods.

A perfect spot would be to line driveways or fences because they provide a beautiful site for years to come.

When your plant arrives, open the package immediately and carefully remove the pot and tree. Inspect the tree for damage and if it’s in good shape (they almost always are!). Water the soil if it is dry and place the pot in a shady or partly shady spot until you can plant the crape myrtle.

Planting

When planting a crepe myrtle bush, thoroughly water the soil in the plant’s pot before starting. Dig a hole larger than the pot, twice as wide if possible. Place the pot on its side and slide the plant out. If the plant is stuck, you can slip a long-bladed knife around the inside edge to loosen it. Gently loosen some of the roots along the sides and bottom, and pull them outward so they are not encircling the root mass.

It shouldn’t be necessary to prune any of the roots.The exception is large root(s) wound around the circumference of the pot. In this case the offending root should be shortened so that when it is in the ground it will grow outward and not continue growing in a circle.

Wound roots – BEFORE & AFTER

Build up a mound of soil in the middle of the planting hole. Place the new tree’s root crown on top of the mounded soil so that the stem will be at the same depth as it was in the pot. Spread the side roots out over the mounded soil while backfilling the hole.

Work the soil in and around the roots. When the hole is half filled, give it and the roots a good soaking of water. When the water has drained, readjust the depth of the stem if necessary and finish filling the hole. Gently tamp the soil down with your hands.

Use your hands to build up a 3-6 inch high dike of soil around the outside of the root zone. This will help impound water over the roots while it sinks into the soil. Water thoroughly. Spread 3-6 inches of an organic mulch over the top of root ball to help hold in soil moisture. You can use hay, straw, leaves, pine needles, or grass clippings. You might look into doing a soil test to see what nutrients are lacking from your soil and what type of fertilizer you should use as well as the soil pH. This will also help with diseases such as leaf spot.

You may need to stake the new crape myrtle until its roots become established enough to keep it from falling over in strong wind. Drive 2 or 3 stakes into the ground 2-4 feet out from the trunk and use wire or twine to hold the trunk upright. Cover the wire where it attaches to the trunk with a section of old garden hose, cloth or other material to prevent it from damaging the bark.

The attachment on the trunk should be loose enough to allow some movement; if the trunk is not allowed to move a little in the wind it will become weak. The supporting stakes are just to make sure the young plant doesn’t fall over completely. Supports usually can be removed after the first year.

Keep the young tree well watered during its first growing season. They do like well drained potting soil. If planted in the winter months, you can water once a week. Crepe myrtles trees are cold hardy to some extent but be sure to check each varieties USDA plant hardiness zone to make sure it will survive in your area.

Planted during the growing season, a crape myrtle should get watered every 2 or 3 days for 3 or 4 months. If you’re having a dry spell, or your soil is sandy, you should water every day for the first 3 or 4 months. The most common reason for a newly planted crape myrtle tree to die is lack of enough water.

Crape Myrtle Care

Maintenance

Once established (after a year of growth), crape myrtles can tolerate dry spells and should not need any supplemental watering in climates that average at least 20 inches of rain per year (which is all of the eastern US and much of the West). Crape myrtles benefit from an annual application of fertilizer, such as Nutricote Total Controlled Release Type 360 Fertilizer 18-6-8. Follow label directions and don’t over-fertilize, as this can result in excessive leaf growth, production of unsightly suckers and fewer flowers.

Pruning

Some varieties of crape myrtle tend to produce suckers, slender fast growing shoots, at the base of the tree. If your desire is for a standard (single trunk) tree shape, the suckers should be pruned off as they appear. Otherwise, the tree may take on the natural shape of a crape myrtle bush, shrub, or small tree with multiple trunks. Crape myrtles bloom on their new growth each year, so any pruning of the main tree (as opposed to removing basal suckers) should be done during late winter when the tree is not growing. If you cut off new growth in spring or summer, you cut off developing summer blooms. If you prune in autumn, the tree could begin new vigorous growth that will then be susceptible to freezing which could kill the tree. When it comes to pruning crape myrtles, there are two distinctly different schools of thought:

  • Some like to cut them back all the way to a few of the largest limbs, leaving just a stubby skeleton. When growth resumes, these flowering trees sprout numerous shoots from each stub and develop a rounded, lollipop-like shape that is covered in flowers. Crapes pruned this way are good for borders and hedges where uniform a height is desired. However, this “crape murder”, as some call it, results in thin, arching stems and destroys the architectural beauty that characterizes a free-growing crape myrtle.
  • Most gardeners prefer to allow their crapes to grow into a more natural form, and very little pruning is ever needed. Limbs that cross and growing branches that are too long or too crowded can be pruned out to maintain a desirable shape. Cut the unwanted branch back to a branch that has at least 1/3, but preferably 1/2 or more, the diameter of the one you are cutting. This is called a thinning cut. If you merely lop off a branch anywhere (a heading cut), the plant will respond with numerous weak and unsightly shoots just below the cut. Pruning all the way back to a branch at least 1/3 the diameter allows the remaining branch to grow normally.

Either way you prune your crape myrtle trees and shrubs, you will still be awarded with flowers. Some varieties of crape myrtle will produce a second or even third flush of red, pink, or white flowers if the spent flower heads are cut off soon after they have finished blooming. The crape myrtle black diamond stay small so they do not need much pruning.

Diseases

Crape myrtles are sometimes attacked by aphids, and then sooty mold often grows on the aphid excrement. This gives the dark green leaves a gray or brownish coating that is not harmful, but can be unsightly. Sometimes an aphid infestation becomes so extreme that the green leaves are damaged and flowering may be impaired. You can control aphids by spraying with a soapy water solution. Chemical controls for aphids include insecticides that include malathion, diazinon, or ultra-fine horticultural oil. Follow label directions explicitly.

During warm humid weather that persists for several days and nights, crape myrtles sometimes are attacked by a fungus called powdery mildew. This looks like a grayish powdery fuzz on the leaves. It occurs especially on crape myrtles growing in damp and shady locations, where air circulation is poor. Powdery mildew is not fatal but can cause deformation of the leaves and stunted growth. It goes away when conditions become less hot and humid.

The best way to control powdery mildew is to prevent it. If your crape myrtle is in full sun, and not crowded next to other plants, powdery mildew, which abhors fresh air and a sunny spot, should not be a problem. Some varieties of crape myrtle are resistant to powdery mildew. ‘Natchez’, ‘Sioux‘, ‘Tonto‘ and ‘Tuscarora‘ all have very good resistance to powdery mildew. If you decide you need to do something about powdery mildew on your crape myrtle, you can treat the foliage with a fungicide labeled for the purpose. Choose a copper-based fungicide, or one that contains myclobutanil, propiconazole or thiophanate-methyl. Follow the label directions exactly.

Some Crape Myrtles are both drought tolerant and mildew resistant such as the Muskogee Crape Myrtle or the Best Red Black Diamond and make a great addition to any landscape.

Creeping Myrtle- Vinca Minor For Sale Affordable Grower Direct Prices Tennessee Wholesale Nursery

Creeping Myrtle – Vinca Minor is a rapidly growing evergreen runner. It produces blue, star-like flowers about one-inch in width, which bloom for only one month in the spring. Creeping myrtle gets its name from the ability to sneak across the ground at an ever-expanding pace.

Creeping myrtle makes a beautiful addition to any home. Notable for its capacity to take root anywhere that a stem touches ground, this plant continues to grow until the season ends. If it is cut back to four inches in early spring, new growth will be rapidly stimulated. Typically this plant grows from 4 – 8 inches, but many variations can increase from 6 -12 inches in height. This vining plant is famous for ground cover since it propagates quickly and is usually drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. It is also planted a lot around trees and shady flower beds. Even after it has finished blooming for the year, it stays a lovely green for year-round coverage.

Buy Fast Growing Creeping myrtle

In the spring, creeping myrtle is one of the first vines to bloom. The creeping myrtle has a profusion of small, periwinkle flowers that come in various shades of purple or white. Rabbits usually avoid eating their blossoms. Creeping myrtle is also perfect for hillsides to add beauty and to discourage erosion. Creeping myrtle is a plant that takes up a lot of room. It is ideal for areas that have open spaces. This is a plant that is great for yards where other flowers won’t grow. Fast growing, this plant will take root and spread over the area in no time. It has a lavender flower that contrasts well with the dark green leaves.

Creeping myrtle blooms in the spring and summer, making it an excellent plant to blend with daisies and daffodils. There is little care involved with this plant. Only water it every few days, and make sure you keep the undergrowth cut out so that it looks healthy.

Scientific Name: Vinca Minor

USDA Climate Zone: 4 – 9

Tree Height: 6 – 12 inch

Canopy Spread: Running flowering vine, continuous fast growth

Soil Type: Prefers dry to medium soil

Sun: Prefers Full Sun to Partial Shade

Creeping myrtle may be occasionally infected by a wide range of diseases that afflict ground covers, but fungal stem blight is a major problem. The fungus spreads through moist soil, striking both newly planted creeping myrtle and vigorous, mature plants. It typically appears in wet spring weather when the temperature is between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit and sometimes in wet autumn weather. Dark brown to black lesions circle overwintered runner stems at the ground. The lesions spread along the runners within days, infecting nodes and stems growing from the runners that also touch the ground. Since the disease hits old runners hidden beneath new foliage you may not see the symptoms until it is too late. An entire stand of creeping myrtle may die in several weeks. You can’t control stem blight once it hits, but you can take steps to prevent it. Plant only disease-free, vigorous plants that you buy from a responsible nursery. Surround the new plants with black plastic mulch. Hold the mulch in place with gravel or rough-ground corn cobs and perforate it every 4 to 6 inches. This mulch also helps the creeping myrtle roots grow quickly and blocks weeds and grasses.

Crepe Myrtle – a Beautiful Shade Tree

Lagerstroemia indica, commonly known as Crepe Myrtle has been a classic favorite of gardeners for many years. It’s almost impossible to resist this small to medium tree that offers a feature for every season, yet asks for so little in return. With the recent introduction of new varieties, the Crepe Myrtle can now be used in even more applications, giving it an entire new legion of fans, and confirming it’s place as one of the most popular deciduous trees in Australian gardens and landscapes.

Originating in Eastern Asia, Lagerstroemia indica can be found in areas including parts of China, Korea and Japan. Named by the famous botanist and forefather of botanical nomenclature Carl Linnaeus, Lagerstroemia indica was given to him by the merchant Magnus Von Lagerström in the 1700’s.

This small to medium deciduous tree forms a lovely rounded vase shape. In the past it was often heavily pruned to encourage greater flowering, however it forms a much more attractive habit when left alone. Lagerstroemia indica is a small to medium tree, usually in the range of 4-6 metres. The new varieties offer Crepe Myrtles, however, are availabe in sizes ranging from small shrubs around 1 metre up to medium sized trees.

In late summer, the Crepe Myrtle bears trusses of very attractive, bee-attracting crepe-like flowers, originally pink but now also available in variations of pinks, whites and mauves. In autumn, the small oval leaves put on a great show with a mix of yellow, orange and red tones, which can vary depending on variety. After leaf fall the attractive bark becomes most evident. A pretty, mottled exfoliating bark in silver, pink and brown tones makes a really great winter attraction. Finally the new, small, mid-green leaves appear, providing cool shade in time for the heat of summer.

In recent years, several ranges of new Crepe Myrtles have been developed. The new varieties are more disease-resistant and can be used in even more applications within the landscape. The Indian Summer range includes trees ranging in size from small to medium with weeping and more upright forms available. It also offers a great variety of flower colours, ranging from white to pinks, to lavender and almost reds. The second range recently developed are ground cover Crepe Myrtles. At around 1 metre high, these varieties, available in many colours, provide an opportunity to use Crepe Myrtles in even more garden and landscape situations.

Hardy in most parts of Australia, Crepe Myrtles prefer a full sun position, in a well drained soil. In severe frost areas they may require a sheltered position. Once established they are also quite drought tolerant. In the past it was common to prune these trees heavily to promote more flowers but this prevented the trees from forming their natural shape. If left to self-shape, generally Crepe Myrtles will still reward you with a great show of flowers, as well as an elegant, attractive form. If Crepe Myrtles suffer damage to their roots or trunk, they may sucker. It is important to be mindful of roots and trunks when whipper-snippering or mowing around them (as can sometimes be seen when residents have gotten a little too close to their Crepe Myrtle street trees with the mower).

Lagerstroemia indica can be susceptible to powdery mildew. In areas of higher humidity or less air flow, this has been more of a problem. The new varieties of Crepe Myrtle, however, have been specifically developed to be resistant to powdery mildew, so this is now much less of a concern. They are generally not prone to other pest or disease problems. Like any other plant, if they are in a less than suitable environment or suffering any stress, they may be more susceptible to infestation or attack.

New varieties of Crepe Myrtles can be used in a variety of garden and landscape situations. They make excellent feature trees in the garden or lawn, allowing winter sun to penetrate, and can now be used in bed plantings as well. Many local councils are choosing Crepe Myrtles as street trees, due to their size, attractive form, great show of flowers and hardiness once established.

Given the great varieties available and the number of applications they can be used in, Crepe Myrtles really deserve the popularity they garner from gardeners and landscapers. It seems they will be a classic favorite for many years to come.

Maree Kiefer has a degree in horticulture and has worked in retail nurseries and revegetation and with landscape designers.

Photos: John Plaxton

Creeping Myrtle Vine

Creeping Myrtle Vine For Sale Affordable At Tennessee Wholesale

It belongs to the dogbane family and is a broadleaf variety;An evergreen perennial brings interest year round with its abundant leathery greenery and pastel flowers; It has a trainable, creeping habit. Another everyday gardening use is for natural weed control. Creeping myrtle attracts butterflies, pollinators, and provides habitat and shelter for small animals and birds; The vines will grow moderately to fast rapidly. Creeping myrtle does exceptionally well in USDA growing zones 4a to 9; It prefers a mildly acidic pH to the mildly alkaline soil; The dry or partially moist soil is best for the vines. Plants will thrive in most sun conditions, making it versatile. A hardy plant that requires little maintenance and still grows well in the poorest of soils, including clay and sand. Vine height remains short, averaging 3 to 6 inches from the ground. The vines can grow up to 18 inches long. Plants will root where the stems touch the ground. Broad, flat leaves are dark, leathery, and shiny. Oval leaves grow in pairs on the plant’s stems, giving a lovely contrast during blooming. Its leaf size is .79 to 1.77 inches long and .39 to .98 inches wide. Leaves are hairless. In the early spring, creeping laurel vines bloom with sweetly scented periwinkle flowers. The solitary flower shape is a five-lobed corolla and resembles a pinwheel. The focal center appears as a star and houses many seeds. Its size ranges from .79 to 1.18 in diameter. Sometimes the flower colors vary and instead of the traditional blue, the vines produce white, purple, or lavender hues. They can also bloom a second time or will bloom continuously until fall in some zones.

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Creeping Myrtle Vine is a plant that is great for yards where other flowers won’t grow. Fast growing, this plant will take root and spread over the area in no time. It has a lavender flower that contrasts well with the dark green leaves. The flower blooms in the spring and summer, making it an excellent plant to blend with daisies and daffodils. There is little care involved with this plant. Just water it every few days, and make sure you keep the undergrowth cut out so that Creeping Myrtle Vine looks healthy.

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