The Creative Gardener – Getting to know Crape Myrtles

With literally hundreds of sizes and colors available, crape myrtles are a terrific, low- maintenance choice for blooms during hot, humid summers. Many varieties are hybrids that maximize the colorful blooms of the common crape myrtle and/or the distinctive bark, cold hardiness, and disease-resistance.

Crape myrtles bloom in midsummer, with common colors including white, lavender, purple, pink, magenta, and red. After blooming, they develop distinctive seed heads, and then the leaves tend to fall toward the end of autumn, leaving the colorful, exfoliating bark for the winter.

Crape Myrtles truly come in every possible size and shape, from knee-high shrubby dwarf plants to towering tree forms(more common in the south), so it is possible to choose a variety that exactly fits your purpose. When choosing crape myrtles for your yard, there are several factors to consider including: height, natural shape, flower color, bark exfoliation, and disease resistance.

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