The Q&A Archives: Crape Myrtle Description

Question: I just got a dwarf purple crape and looked in every book that I could get a hold of and there is no information of that shrub. Can you give me any type of information?

Answer: Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is a deciduous shrub or can be trained as a tree. It takes full sun and infrequent, but deep, slow waterings. There are many varieties and color selections, but typically spring foliage is light green with a tinge of red. Mature leaves are a deep green. Leaves turn yellow in fall. Flowers are about 1 inch, crinkly and crapelike (thus the name), and come in clusters that hang 6-12 inches at the end of a branch. They can bloom from July to September. Fertilize moderately. In the desert's alkaline soils, iron chlorosis can be a problem (leaves will yellow, but veins will remain green). Treat with a chelated iron product if needed. It helps to water deeply past the root zone to leach salts away about once a month. Prune in dormant season (late winter) to encourage new wood for blooms the next summer. I hope this info helps!

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