Crepe Myrtles are iconically known as one of Hampton Roads’ most popular trees. You can find them lined up on busy street medians, in your local parks, or even by your neighbors mailbox, they’re everywhere! But why? What are the biggest reasons that crepe myrtles are so famed and fabulous in coastal Virginia? We have collected a list of 5 important reasons on why you should definitely plant them in your landscape as well.
5. Temperature Tolerant
Crepe Myrtles are found not only in Virginia, but all over the southern United States. Generally, these areas are considered USDA zones 7-11. This helps us understand that the crepe myrtle is a naturally heat-tolerant plant. It can thrive in drier conditions and lots of direct sunlight. An essential part to keeping your crepe myrtle happy in the warmer months, however, is paying attention to watering if you are not getting much rain and mulching regularly to keep the roots cool in the blistering heat of the southern summer.
4. Easy Care
Keeping crepe myrtles looking great is a labor of…well, not much labor at all actually. Heavy pruning for these plants is recommended during the winter or very early spring. However, we take the word “heavy” lightly when it comes to pruning crepe myrtles. Cutting back to a stump or in the same spots every year can cause spindly new growth as well as knots where cuts have been made repeatedly over years. Give your crepe myrtle a simple shape up to just keep the canopy looking even. Light pruning can occur during the growing season, but mostly just to clip spent blooms and any obviously expired branches. For more even information on keeping your crepe myrtle looking its best, check out Mike, the Garden Guru’s video below.
3. Four-Season Interest
Although crepe myrtles are known for their long-lasting summer blooms, the trees look great all year-round. In the autumn, the leaves will turn colors and fall from the tree, in the winter it keeps its dome-like canopy shape which creates structural intrigue, and in the spring, the leaves start filling out the canopy in an array of greens, ready for the summer blooms.
2. The Varieties
There are so many types of crepe myrtles available to choose from to fit the look of your landscape and garden. From different color leaves, to bright blooms, there is definitely a crepe myrtle that can suit every gardener. We generally carry about 5 of these varieties at our Garden Center’s, including Catawba, Dynamite, Double Dynamite, Natchez, and Tuscarora crepe myrtles. For more information on these varieties, you can check out our other blog here. Please don’t hesitate to give our Green Team a call for additional information on our varieties and quantities.
1. The Blooms!
The pièce de résistance of a crepe myrtle is without a doubt the blooms. The flowers are frilled and collected together to create fluffy cones of color at the ends of the stems. The blooming period for crepe myrtles occurs in mid-June to September, so you can get an entire summer’s worth of fantastic flowers. Crepe myrtles will bloom every year without a hitch, so you really know the summer season is kicking off once you see the little cones of color popping up all over your crepe myrtle.
There are many more great things we could say about crepe myrtles, so come give us a visit at our locations and learn some more fabulous facts about the crepe myrtle. Don't forget to come see us for Crepe Myrtle Days July 16th-17th, 2022 for some great summer sales!
See our sales page to keep up to date on what’s new and check out the Garden Guru and his webinars with new plants, products, and expert planting advice. To keep inspired and grow with us, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to dig into the joys of gardening!