Smallish shrubs for under crepe myrtle tree

leightx2010April 3, 2010

We're thinking of ditching what's left of our grass between our sidewalk and the porch (in a small curved patch, maybe 10'x5'. I'm looking for some ideas for plants and shrubs to go under our 20' tall crepe myrtle that's planted there, in dappled shade (from both the crepe myrtle and live oaks in middle of the yard), Eastern exposure. Alkaline central TX soil. We have an Indian Hawthorne just behind the crepe myrtle that has been completely ignored for 10 years, and still does great, although it doesn't bloom much because it is almost total shade, right next to covered patio, and behind the crepe myrtle.

Some ideas for edging plants / flowers would be great too - would prefer perennials, but I wouldn't mind doing a few annuals, since this is right next to the front door.

Any suggestions appreciated! Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful:

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I have shrimp plants planted under a row of ours, and they seem to love it there. Also, I have iris, rock rose, and cedar sage. The shrimp plants like it best.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 1:06PM
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That looks like a tough area to plant anything other than something really small (young) and that is shallow rooted. I have several areas around my house just like yours and it is very difficult to plant stuff around the tree roots.

What I have done is to use pots, planted with a single variety of something, and bunch them, en masse, around the tree. This can make for a very stunning effect. Caladiums are my favorite plant for doing this (for instance, a bunch of white caladiums massed around your tree would be stunning!). (I wish I had pictures....this year I'm getting the camera out)

You could use what ever plant you like.....annuals or perennials or even small shrubs. How about some of the low growing crepe myrtles?! There are some weeping varieties, that planted in pots would be attractive. Using pots expands your options and keeps you from disturbing your crepe's roots.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 12:04PM
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that using pots allows you to change your look with the seasons: e.g. tulips in spring, caladiums in summer, and mums in fall. Or whatever plants you like!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 12:20PM
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Lynn Marie

Oooh, Other Lynn, I like that idea. Consider it stolen!!!


Lynn Marie

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 12:32PM
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