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Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

Posted by Fern2002 Southern PA (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 10, 05 at 21:39

Was wondering if anyone had success in South Central PA with the hardy variety crape myrtle tree? We have seen Muskogee crape myrtle for sale locally but the nursery person said it probably wouldn't survive the winters if planted on western side of our house. Does anyone have suggestions for other hardy varieties that would survive a western exposure planting in Frankin Co, PA ? ...Appreciate any advice!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

Fern,
I live near the South Mountain Restoration Center, and when I joined the Arbor Day Assoc received a crape myrtle. I was surprised because I thought they only grew in the south. But I planted on the southeast side of my house (most sun, though my property is pretty much surrounded by tall oaks) and it looks like it survived. They normally don't start leafing out until later (I moved here from South Carolina and grew them there). I don't think it came with a variety I will have to check the paper work that came with it.

Keeping my fingers crossed
Karen


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

I have 4 different crepe myrtles. I'm in zn 6 near philadelphia. They do wonderful here. They are the last to leaf out and I always go through that "oh it's dead" panic but they come back every year.

You will love them.

Kathy


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

There are some absolutely lovely crepe myrtles growing on the northern side of one of those old brick houses on Route 30, about 1/2 mile west of the square in Chambersburg. They must be 15 ft tall.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

  • Posted by hannah 6B PA & 10A FL (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 12, 05 at 9:30

I'm in SE PA...zone 6B, I think.
I have one in my courtyard that's on it's 3rd year.
I keep it pruned like a tree, because I wanted some heighth in one corner but not the width.
It does fine...and I love the dark pink blooms!


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

Crape's need to be planted in the sunniest, warmest part of your property, south, southwest in zone 6. If it's also protected from strong winter winds, chances are good for success.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

Fern:
I have a row of 5 crape myrtles - don't know the varieties - thriving on the southwest side of the house. They were planted as "saplings" in 1999 when my house wat built. I live just west of Chambersburg on a bit of a ridge and they are subjected to both wind and the hot afternoon sun, but seem to take it all in stride. Just keep in mind that they are VERY slow to leaf out in the spring!


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

Thanks for all the replies. I'm located just west of Chambersburg too. Fern lane, which is off of Frank Rd. Anyway, we are in the process of finishing up a backyard patio and I was trying to design a landscape plan for around it and thought crape myrtle would be nice to privatize the patio a little. Unfortunately the back yard faces almost directly West. Hope they can survive the winter winds. I need to find out what type they have planted in the parking lot at Chbg. Lowes ...Whatever variety they are they seem to do well there and look great when blooming.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

I am just amazed to find others on here this close to my place! No Crape myrtles here though. I am happy just to get the weeping cherry to bloom without freezing. This year it is spectacular! Kathy_ west of Waynesboro who would like a have garden club close to here


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

I unfortunately live in what is known as a frost drainage area. A large open field on top of the slope my house is on . I gave up on flowering cherries and flowering peach after getting bloom 1 year out of 8, and actually lose all the bloom on my forsythia about 1 year in 3. I gave up trying crepe myrtle here after losing the fourth one. I do love them, as much or more for the gorgeous form and bark of their trunks when they age. Friends tell me to try the shrubby 'crepe myrtlettes" but I want the tree more than the flowers.

George


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

I live in south central PA (Northern York County) and just planted a Crepe Myrtle this past spring. It is on the south side, in full sun. I was wondering what, if any, special care it needed to endure it's first winter. This is a very special tree to me as it is where I laid my daughter's ashes and the plant represents her life.

Can anyone offer advice on care for this plant?


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

I live in Chester Co., near Downingtown, and I have two CM's. One was obvously not suited for this climate, and it died down severely, every year for about the first 10 years; now it is holding its own and actually getting some height. The other was a variety advertised to be cold hardy, and it has always done well. The hardy one is planted with a southern exposure with no protection from the westerly winds. I don't do anything to help it through the winter.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

Has anyone ever tried one around Pittsburgh? I can't remember having seen any since I moved here from TX a bit over 3 years ago so I thought they wouldn't survive, but then I saw this thread of messages.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

They are pretty rare here in Pittsburgh, but I know of a hedge in Dormont.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

There are spectacular ones on S. Dallas, about 2 blocks S. of Penn Ave, in the Pt. Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh. You could call them bush-type, but they are dense and tall (15-18 feet?) and so spectacular that I trespassed on a total stranger's lawn and nabbed a single blossom, so I could ask the nursery what they were. Looking at google maps, the exposure is east-southeast. A house and a rise block them from wind from the west, but they are not right up against the house or fence. At a guess, the address should be ~300 S Dallas, Pittsburgh 15208, if you want to map it and drive by to take a look. When they are flowering you will absolutely see them without bothering the homeowner. (The guy at Sestilli nursery concurs--they're the best ones in town.)


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

Hi!! I own 3 in Mt. Lebanon. I have Dynamite, Tonoto, and Potomac. All have survived and have grown well---and are blooming!!! All 3 were purchased at Lowes for about $13.00 each. With our below 0 spring, my crapes still survived and sprouted from both the roots and lower woody stems. All are in the front and side yard. This would be a southeastern exposure. I hope this helps!! I did not winterize them in any particular way..:)


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

I live in Norristown. I have several Crape Myrtles (William Tovey) thriving in a SW exposure, after two years. I am so pleased with their performance that I added several hybrid minatures to my landscape this summer. There are a few large old Crepe Myrtle's near the rail road tracks thriving in SW exposure, as well. They sit next to a renovated building, but I suspect they have survived years of neglect. A neighbor of mine also has a quite large and old Crepe Myrtle.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

Yes crepe myrtles will grow in Pgh. I have three some nurseries tell you they won't,but mined did.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

I live in the Pittsburgh, PA area. I planted a Dazzle Me Pink crepe myrtle, which is a dwarf variety of crepe myrtle, last summer in my yard. I bought it at a nursery in Virginia because I loved the crepe myrtles I saw in that area. It is showing signs of life - buds and leaves on the lowest branches. I even failed to mulch it before winter came. I saw a three yards here in Pittsburgh in my neighborhood that have a crepe myrtle. All were doing well, and all were in full bloom last summer. My local nursery said they would not survive here, but evidently they do.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

Where can I buy a Dynamite that is larger than 4 to 5 feet? Near or within 50-75 miles of Lancaster ,pa

tullian@aol.com


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

I just saw some at Stauffer's of Kissel Hill at their Lititz location.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

The Pittsburgh area is a heat island and considered to be zone 7 by some gardening sites.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

My dwarf crape myrtle has definitely survived the winter, and is doing well. The foliage is a nice dark green and healthy looking, and its been growing nicely. Its only been in the ground for about a year, and its just getting its blooms. The blooms haven't opened yet, but I expect them to within the next few weeks. I will have pictures soon when its in bloom. I guess mine is a little late to bloom since its a new plant. Next year, I hope the blooms come out sooner. The few crape myrtles I saw around here in Pittsburgh started blooming last week around mid-July and should last thru September.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

I am outside Philadelphia and am planning on getting a Crape Myrtle "Tonto," which I understand can do well in my area, winters and all. Does anyone have a recommendation on whether it is too late in the summer to plant one this year? Would it be better to wait until spring? I am a new gardener and so not well-versed in this. Thanks for any suggestions!


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

Planting it now is okay--just be sure to keep up with regular watering if the weather gets dry. I planted some in late July's heat (kept them watered), and they came into bloom already. They are really very forgiving shrubs/trees--I've never had one die on me even after the WORST winters.


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RE: Success of Crape Myrtle in South Central PA

I see alot growing beautifully in our area but mine isnt???


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