July is Crape Myrtle Time

Look around at all those gorgeous, blooming trees! If you do not have some crape myrtle trees, try them. There are varieties for every space, taste and color preference. They can run from 2 feet (miniatures) to 20-plus feet (tree size). They are all ultra- hardy and do very nicely on natural rainfall after the first year. The key is to pick your color and know the maximum height you can tolerate in the space you are considering for planting. Do not plant 20-plus foot trees under your power lines!
Texas A&M recommends some good varieties for our mid- Texas areas. Their sizes and names are as follows:

2-3 feet Pocomoke
3-6 feet Dwarf Low Flame
5-12 feet Cheyenne, Tonto
10-20 feet Comanche
20-plus feet Arapaho

3-6 feet McFadden’s Pinkie
5-12 feet Caddo
10-20 feet Osage
20-plus feet Biloxi

2-3 feet Velma’s Royal Delight
3-6 feet Dwarf Royalty
5-12 feet Zuni
10-20 feet Lipan
20-plus feet Muskogee, Wichita

5-12 feet Acoma
10-20 feet Byer’s White
20-plus feet Fantasy, Kiowa

You will notice not all sizes have all colors available. Take your pick of size and color. Buy from a reputable nursery. Ask if they will take it back if it is not the right size and color. Good nurseries will! Plant the tree in the full sun and water thoroughly each week until the days no longer hit 85 degrees or higher. All new plants need special care and crape myrtles are no different. Your investment in thought, time and money will bloom and bloom and bloom!

Written by Nancy Fenton,  Master Gardener.