I don't think this one has ever been pruned. It gets no care and blooms profusely every summer.
Wow, that's gorgeous!
How pretty! It is most likely the variety Crape Myrtle 'Catawba'.
Carol in Jacksonville
Don't the crepes just seem exceptional this year?
I have a white that is over 30 years old. stll under 20 feet
both ways and has only been pruned from storm damage .
has never failed to flower. Wonderful tree except for the winter dormant when they look awfully dead lol gary
ooohhh... grab me some seeds... or suckers. :-D
I've got a thing for the crepes this year. I want to line the driveway in Alabama with them and we aren't allowed to have them here (stupid HOA) so I need to get some started for transplanting next fall. :-D
That is a beautiful bush especially for no (pruning type)care!
Crepe myrtles are extremely easy to root. I'll ask my neighbor for some cuttings from this one later this year. I said no care, in addition to no pruning, I meant no watering and no fertilizing. That one was here when I moved in, so it must be more than 30 years old. It is in 100% full sun.
T, I'll take some cuttings too, this one sounds really hardy to me.
that's funny Shuffles. I got detoured through my neighborhood and saw a tree just like the one in your picture. I was going to go back and take a pix. I don't think they do anything to theirs either. It is the most bountiful crepe I've seen. It is really better to not prune at all than to do it incorrectly
OMG, that's a crepe murder!!! Why do they do that? Just let the tree be what it is supposed to be.
It kills me to see them doing that all over the city. Just think about all the time effort, money and those poor trees!!! :-(
There's a house up the street from me that has a pair of multi trunked crape myrtles that were at least 20 feet tall. The old man that lives there decided that he had to trim the back in order to get more blooms (he hadn't done it before because his wife, who passed away last year, wouldn't let him) and by the time he was done the trees were only half as tall as they had been (one is a Natchez, the other Muskogee). Ironically, while every other year the trees were covered in blooms by now, this year there is not a single bloom on either tree.
This post was edited by karalynn on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 8:57
Yes, they never forgive a severe whack-back. I had a lovely pink one outside my bedroom window when I was a child, and dad took some kind of gardening class and became persuaded it should be given a vigorous trimming. It survived, but it never bloomed again in the fifteen years we owned the house after that.
EDIT How odd. I had edited this post right after posting to say that I forgot to mention how lovely the crape in the original post is, and the edit appeared, but now is gone.
Yours is great, too, puglvr. I love the color.
This post was edited by writersblock on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 16:09
That picture of the Crepe myrtle above is gorgeous!!
This one I planted 7 years ago...I trim it every year after blooms are done usually late fall to about 4 1/2 to 5ft so it doesn't get too large for the island I have it planted in and luckily it blooms every single year :o)
puglvr1, that one is a beauty! Do you know the variety?
Thanks writersblock and shuffles!!
Unfortunately I have NO idea what variety it is :o(...picked it up from a local nursery...
With all the RAIN we've had lately, the blooms just exploded!
Puglvr, what a beautiful specimen for your front yard! The blooms are gorgeous. From the photo, it looks like it may be Tuscarora, which is often described as dark coral pink or watermelon red.
Yes, that's definitely a watermelon crape myrtle. I have a Dallas Red, which isn't read at all, that was sold to me by an unscrupulous garden center owner on 301 highway somewhere in North Florida once when I was on my way home from a trip. I wanted either a true red or a watermelon red, and he told me it was a true red. It's a deep pink. Pretty, but not what I wanted. I also have a white that I dug up as a seedling from my neighbor's yard that is still small, but beautiful when it blooms. Hers was over 30 feet tall.
I have several that grew from seedlings and three of them NEVER bloom. I swore this year if they didn't start doing something, I was gonna yank them out. They've been in their current spots for four years, and others nearby bloom just fine, so it's not sunlight or water...
Am I being too impatient or am I correct in assuming that the seedlings didn't carry the gene for prolific blooming?
They take about 5 years to bloom when grown from seed. Don't give up on it just yet. Next spring, give it some bloom fertilizer and see what happens. Once they start blooming, they never stop.
Carol, Thanks for all the identities! Really helps with the shopping, don't ya know...
Is there a tree sized variety with a very dark purple inflorescence? Small is ok. Also, the name of the smaller mid-range-to-light purple would be helpful, too.
Let me start by saying that I am familiar with the "classic", been-around-for-a-long-long-time varieties, but hybridizers are coming up with new cultivars all the time (with true reds being the hottest ticket for the past several years), and I don't know all of the newer crape myrtle varieties now available. The older, tried-and-true varieties are easy to find a the big box stores, including Walmart, and are generally less expensive. Newer cultivars usually are found in better nurseries or have to be mail ordered and usually cost a lot more. They are sometimes also more susceptible to disease and/or pests.
That said, the two darkest purple varieties of crape myrtle (with which I am familiar) are New Orleans and Catawba.
New Orleans is a dwarf, miniature, weeping variety which grows to only about 2' tall.
Catawba is a small 12-15' tree form (remember the photo above).
Yuma is a very light purple variety that grows to a slightly larger, 15'-20' tall tree.
And then there is Muskogee, a pale purple that is one of the largest varieties of crape myrtle. At maturity, it is 25' or more and a beautifully shaped tree.
The ones I've named above are readily/widely available. Below are some good lists of many more crape myrtle varieties. You can see lots more options that what I have above, but you may have to search to find them available for purchase.
One last word of advice: While you are looking for the right color, also pay attention to height and shape to make sure you get what want. Here are the links:
Carol in Jacksonville
Thanks Carol and Kasima..yes it is definitely a very pretty deep red blooms...I really like the bright colors
Thanks for the links and the help, Carol. Great links!
Here we are a month later and this one is still if full bloom. Definitely have to get some cuttings!
The chart linked below gives the average number of blooming days for different varieties of crape myrtle.
Here is a link that might be useful: Select Crape Myrtle Cultivars Chart
Interesting Carol. Most in my neighborhood have lasted maybe three weeks. That is a good list to take along shopping. I just printed one for my neighbor.
Yeah, I thought it was interesting, too. I found it when I was first shopping crape myrtles a few years ago. I was surprised to learn that they all don't bloom at the same time (although it is generally during the summer months) or for the same length of time. I'm glad it helped!
So gorgeous!! is there a dwarf variety of crepe myrtle that would work in zone 10?
Yes, I have two dwarf myrtles, one is purple the other pink. Sorry I don't know the names, but the tag said dwarf when I bought them. It might have been from Walmart, years ago. They go deciduous for the winter but come back every spring.
Nice chart Carol, thanks for posting. It's very interesting that White blooms seem to be the shortest lasting.
Leelee, I have a dwarf purple also...I believe I bought it at Lowe's appx. 6 years ago...I keep it pruned to stay this size.
White blooms? Maybe so... except for Natchez, a white and one of the largest cultivars... and my favorite! :)
Wish I had photos of the contrast, my neighbor and I are prime examples of crepe murder versus selective pruning. We planted our trees within weeks of each other. For as long as I could reach the limbs, I trimmed just enough to maintain the shape and remove suckers. He didn't touch his tree until this past spring when he 'murdered' it. It now looks diseased, has only one branch that has blooms on it and I fear the poor thing will truly die.
ooops! how do I delete that copy of my post?
Here's a picture of just how large a Muskogee crape myrtle can get when you only prune it just enough to keep it out of the walkways. This picture is of my parents house and their tree crape myrtles were planted about 20 years ago.
The tree that the person up the street cut in half was started from the one in the picture and was nearly as tall as it before it was butchered. That tree has actually started blooming now but it really doesn't look right.
Those are impressive! You're probably not old enough to remember when they were planted. Are they right behind the house with no interference from any taller trees? Or are they closer to the trees in the back of the pic?
I'm asking because there's a really old crepe myrtle in my yard, towers up into an old camphor, but the blooms are too high to enjoy.
And for Jack - concerning bloom times for seedlings - here's a pic of a not-quite-1-yr-old seedling blooming it's little head off for me several years ago.
I've kept it in a pot and have moved it with me about 4 times since then. It's still my "baby" and because it was so easy, I've been trying to grow lots of crepe myrtles from seeds and cuttings.
Oh I remember when they were planted alright! I remember us all piling into the pickup truck and heading for the tree farm in order to buy the biggest trees that we could load onto the truck bed (my parents bought 4 of them, 2 Muskogee and 2 Natchez). There aren't any trees growing near the crapes and they really are too close to the septic system and drain field. I think that's contributed to the trees growing to the size they are. The size of their trunks are really impressive! They are right behind the house, so close in fact that Dad occasionaly has to trim off branches to keep them from laying on the roof.
That's some good info to know and lessons to remember.
The Crape in the Original post is gorgeous! And it's proof positive that these plants are generally best when allowed to develop their own wonderful architecture. To me, the trunks are the beauty of the tree. The blooms are a bonus.
I love that drowsy, Dusty Orchid color of the Muskogees. Such a pretty color at twilight, or during a storm... And I think Muskogee has the best shape of them all - and the most sensuous trunks.
The dwarf varieties are AMAZING. I wish that the Crape Murderers would plant these, instead of trying to turn majestic trees into shrubs. Have you guys seen the weeping and prostrate miniatures? Like Bouganvillea!
Here's a beauty I recently planted for my neighbor. He bought it special order from Lukas, I think, but this photo is from Lowe's. They claim to have it for $20. It's a dwarf called "Purple Magic".
I am so jealous. I have a 15 ft + crape myrtle that is 2 yrs since it was planted. It is a pink and doesn't bloom very much. I'm wondering if it needs something or if it is planted too deeply.
It is Aug1 and it is barely blooming. My neighbor who Murders her CMs has all the blooms. So unfair.
Looks like you are in Zone 7A, Maryland (http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/trees/msg0708371211321.html)? If so, your growing conditions are not quite ideal for crapes, and your season is little bit shorter than ours, but hopefully still good enough. Hang on. Crape myrtles follow the pattern of many plants: the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap! Next year should be a big growth season if your tree gets plenty of full sun and water.
This post was edited by love_the_yard on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 18:23
I saw one like that beautiful one above just today, it was fantastic. My Natchez are so big now that I can't prune them and I refuse to murder them. They've bloomed this year but not as much as I'd like. I heard that bone meal is a good thing for them for blooming, also that if you put too much nitrogen on them they won't bloom nicely. So next Spring I'm going to try that. I just think that mine are so big I haven't given them enough nutrients.
Well, I'm just passing by and I'll return to my usual haunt after this.
When the Dragon Woman and I moved into this house 42 years ago the Crepe Myrtle was here and pruned to its current height of 4 foot. Murdered every year!
Pruned or not I love it!
Wonder how big a 42+ year old unpruned Crepe Myrtle would be.
Coming to the party a little late but with a couple of comments. The crape in the first pic does not look like 'Catawba' ... which is much more violet colored. It looks more like 'Zuni' or possibly 'Twilight', both of which are a little lighter and a hair bluer. Also, the Lowe's picture (just before the last one posted) is not an accurate picture of 'Purple Magic.' These pictures that are created to sell plants based on color are frequently doctored -- just slightly -- so that the color appears to be more like what people are craving ... a true purple. It doesn't exist. 'Purple Magic' is almost indistinguishable from 'Catawba'. But it is one tiny shade more intense which makes it the most purple to date. When it first blooms. 'Purple Magic' is more like deep violet, but as the bloom fade they take on a bluish caste which "purpleizes" them a degree more. One feature of PM is that it is a looooooong blooming plant. So far, for me, it is the longEST blooming crape I've had. I don't dislike it at all. If I was naming -- in the interest of accuracy -- I'd call it 'Catawba Improved.' When they get a crape the color of Jacaranda, then they will have purple.
D'bloomers (pic above) if a crape doesn't bloom well -- as they are a very free, easy blooming species -- it's almost always because they get too much shade or lack phosphorous in the fertilizer (which must be administered ongoing in the season PRIOR to bloom.) Don't fertilize it once next year expecting good results. Fertilize it this year (regularly) and expect results next year. it acts more like a dietary supplement than it does V i a g r a.
This post was edited by Yardvaark on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 21:30
Another day, more Crepe Myrtle pruning, sure it would be nice if you didn't have to prune anything BUT this Crepe Myrtle is growing on Little Augusta Golf course behind the first green. It has the usual 3 or four limbs pruned to about 5 feet. Why would you do that? Because if it gets too tall the summer growth would shade the green and if that happened no doubt it would be exit one Crepe Myrtle.
Similar reason for my beloved Crepe Myrtle being pruned to four feet every year. If I let it go it would shade
next door's yard in summer (and the clothes line)
Apart from the flowers, I enjoy the autumn foliage every year.....a change from the green all year other plants here.
This post was edited by arthurm on Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 4:02
That tree is too large to be a Zuni. It does look a lot like a Twilight. I didn't take cuttings last fall - maybe this year.
Northern Crape Myrtles in bloom.
Dwarf Hopi in light pink, Dynamite Red, Catawba got shut out of pic.