Natchez Crepe Myrtles

beagardnerApril 1, 2008

I am wanting to plant a Natchez CM on either side of the front walk to my home. If I allow plenty of room for it from the house, is this good idea. one side of the walkway is the waterline, around 10 feet away. Just wondering if 2 Natchez in the front yard is too much. Our lot is about 1/2 acre.

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Natchez is a beautiful and BIG crepe myrtle. It might be very nice in your yard, if your house is two story or has a high roofline. (Even then, they may block alot of the view of your home over time, which sometimes is an okay thing and sometimes not.) If it's a very low roofline, you might want to consider a smaller crepe myrtle variety. Be sure you plant them far enough away from each other, as well as from the house, otherwise your front walk could become blocked with branches. (You could train them into a arch, I guess.)

Something I have done in the past to help me visualize the mature size of plants is to take a garden hose and lay it out the full width of the mature plant with the center of it where I am considering planting it. Then I stand back and look at how much of the view behind the plant will be blocked. (Anything behind the hose will be gone.) It helps me, and it's free.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 8:43PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I will go with a smaller one. we do have an upstairs, 3 dormers across the front. There is a front porch across the whole house. Any suggestions on a particular variety?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 10:52PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Natchez might be large (at maturity) for a Crape myrtle, but they still should be considered a small to medium shade tree. If your front yard has a bit of room for them, these will provide some decent shade (as long as you don't prune the heck out of them) and a 'real' tree appearance! I think that our neighborhoods are naked and forlorn without some decent canopy.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 12:30PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Rhizo makes a good point. What it really comes down to is the look you want for your house. I personally like smaller, ornamental trees that frame the house: at corners, or sides, etc. I like BIG shade trees in fronts and backs of houses whose canopies will grow so high that they do not block the view of the house from the street. I wholeheartedly agree with his comment about naked and forlorn neighborhoods.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. I have found it to be useless to go to garden centers with a specific variety of crape myrtle in mind. Except for the well known ones like Natchez, they never seem to have what I want. Almost all selections with the names of Indian Tribes are resistant to mildew. Read the tags, and choose one of suitable height, width, and color. Chances are you'll do just fine. I would caution about Byers Wonderful White. It's beautiful and tough, but the blooms are so huge that they can actually cause the limbs to break under their weight. It's nearly as large as Natchez, so I would choose Natchez if those were the only two whites available.

Here is another idea for you to consider. You might want to think about a border of trees and/or shrubs and/or flowers, etc. that wraps itself around the edges of your property. Shape your lawn in a U or a semi-circle, for instance, and then leave maybe 15 feet or so of buffer around the edges, extending from the lawn edge to the property line or the street. Then plant that area and leave the lawn as a (small) pristine centerpiece. You remove obstacles from the view of your house. It's easier to mow your grass without trees scattered around it. The grass grows better with more sunlight, and the border gives you privacy and shelter. There is beauty that you can see from the street or from your interior windows. (Why plant all the pretty stuff for the passing cars to enjoy?) Think about it. There are lots of houses with two trees in the front yard. Why not try something a bit different and provide that wonderful neighborhood canopy too? You can just mulch the area for now and add plants as time and money becomes available.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 10:57PM
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Thanks donnabaskets. I like that idea. I have a good spot on the side of my property where the CM probably would do better. Do you know if there is any problems with the roots interfering with water lines. The side of the yard that I would be putting it is on the same side as our water meter. I wonder what the safe minimum would be.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 10:23PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I have never heard of anyone having Crape Myrtles interfere with water lines. I am not, however, an expert on the subject. If there is a problem, maybe someone else will pipe in.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 1:17PM
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txaggiegirl(TX 8b)

I have had Natchez CM in my yard for more than 20 years and love them. They have never interferred with any water or septic lines. We have 9 of them and, yes, they are large, maybe 25 foot high. They also begin blooming in March and continue through October here and provide beautiful white blossoms. I recommend them as a backbone tree for any hot, poor soil, clay, rock infested area. If I had better soil...I think I would miss the Natchez.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 11:15AM
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Hello, I live in Northeast Ohio and am wanting to plant a Natchez Crape Myrtle in an area of my backyard for the visual aspect as well as some shade by our patio with covered roof. I have been told by a Nursery in Georgia that these were hardy enough to grow here and survive our winters. We also have an Inground pool, so I wondered if they have any known droppings. Thank you in advance for any recommendations, this is my first post on this site so I am excited to see what words of wisdom y'all have.

Thank you

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 10:24AM
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I have two Natchez and think they are fantastic trees, however in the Spring they drop the last year's seed pods and they can be messy. Not sure I would plant by a pool. A smaller CM that I also like is Tonto. Very heavy flowering here over a long period.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 4:50PM
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One thing about Natchez that some people might not like is the fluttering snowflake like petals that drift down when a breeze hits the tree. It's one of the things I find utterly beautiful about the tree.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 6:57PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

"Do they have any droppings " Like just about all of the time! Flower petals, seeds, leaves, seed pods, seed stalks, and more! None of which is a problem.....unless you have a pool.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 10:33PM
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