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Nate’s Plant Pick of the Week – Crape Myrtles!

Posted on June, 17

Nate is feelin great about Crape Myrtles, so naturally they’re his Plant Pick of the Week! Crapes are beloved the world over for their stunning color and fluffy blooms. They originated in Asian countries, and were brought from China to America via England, where they didn’t get enough heat or sun to bloom. So André Michaux, botanist to King Louis XVI, brought them to Charleston, SC around 1786, and they have been an icon of Southern summer landscapes ever since! Historically called the “Tree of 100 Days”, these beauties have a long bloom duration, and will flower off and on all throughout summer in our abundant North Texas heat and sun! Blooms come in a rainbow of colors, from whites, to reds to purples, with tons of shades in between, and foliage ranges from emerald greens to the deep burgundy blacks of the Ebony & Black Diamond series. There are a huge number of cultivars available today, in sizes for every landscape, from 2′ tall  groundcover (like Sacramento) and 3′ to 5′ tall shrubs (like Pocomoke & Petite Plum) all the way up to 30′ tall trees (like Natchez). Shapes range from spreading to rounded, upright to weeping and vase-shaped. There is quite literally a crape myrtle for EVERY landscape! Plant these in full sun, and water and fertilize regularly, but do NOT over-prune. Crapes only need light shaping, removing side shoots and intertwining branches the width of a pencil or less. If you only want your tree to be 5′ tall, buy one in that range; it’s not recommended to get a larger one and prune it down. Topping off crapes is bad for the over-all health of the plant, and can lead to unsightly wounds and problems down the road. Just let them do their thing, and you’ll enjoy beautiful summer color for years to come! Come see these beauties in action in our Tree & Shrub area, or check our online inventory for varieties, sizes, and prices. Check out the Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney’s Basic Crape Myrtle Care page for more great info, and plan a visit to this North Texas treasure!

 

Ebony Flame                                         Black Diamond Shell Pink                   Cherry Dazzle

                    

 Rhapsody in Pink                           Tonto                                                   Natchez 

                  

Petite Orchid                                             Mystic Magenta                                   Purely Purple