Help me pick a Crape Myrtle variety

samlawnMay 14, 2014


I am having a hard time selecting a crape myrtle for the new garden in front of my house (see picture), mainly because of growing height. I'm worried that a Tonto might not grow enough, whereas a Sioux or Yuma might end up being too big. Our goal is curb appeal to sell in 3-5 years.

Several people have told me to just get a bigger one and lop it off to the height I want every year, but I'm not sure if I'm a fan of crape murdering or not, so I'm trying to be responsible and pick one that suits the area.

Blocking the window is not a huge concern, since it is a guest bedroom, but would this affect curb appeal? If I get the bigger Crape, the trunks wouldn't block the window, but then the tree might block too much of the house?

All opinions welcome.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I don't think that it's a good spot for a crape myrtle for some of the very reasons you've mentioned. One you didn't think about is that "crape murder " instantly creates a permanent eyesore for the several months that the tree has no leaves to cover the problem.

How deep is that bed (from front to back)? You sure don't want a tree to be slapping against the house; some of those crapes have very wide canopies.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 4:29PM
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Objection to crape murder is what has me leaning towards the tonto. Should only be about 8-10 feet, between the shutters and the gable vent. The bed is about 8 feet deep. Do you think it's enough space for the smaller tonto variety?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:10PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

I'd be more inclined to put one decent multi-trunked one in the lawn midway along and away from the curve of the sidewalk. About 3-4' away from the sidewalk.
Putting one up against the house is a bad position because once the mistake is realized, you can't dig deep or wide enough to fully get that crape myrtle totally out.
They regrow from their deepest roots. And, the heat sink effect that is the brick is not something your crape will benefit from. Crapes need air circulation and you will need room annually to reach and thin it all the way around.

Putting one in the lawn will give more visual dimension and perception of depth to your front yard. (and pretty little holiday twinkling lights in the holiday season)
The 8' deep bed is easy to fill, kill and replace depending on sun and how often you remember to water it.
You might begin with installing 12-15 inch wide strip of trellis to either end of those brick walls and plant white clematis there.
I think that would soften up the hard edges of the brick and the white would softly tie in with your trim.
Let it grow as it will for two years then begin its training choosing the strongest stalks.
Right now, you have a lot of different visual elements you want to tie together with green/growing, welcoming and photogenic plants.

A white crape in the lawn curve with maybe red or coral Knockout roses peeking through behind it in the bed fronting your front porch then multi-color bedding plants in the guest room bed that are defined visually and framed by those white clematis on the wall trellises.
That is what I see for selling photos of a late spring early summer real estate listing.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 6:25PM
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