The Q&A Archives: Centennial Dwarf Crape Myrtle

Question: We would very much like to put in a centennial dwarf crape myrtle; however, when we contacted one of your distributors they recommended another variety of crape myrtle that wasn't a dwarf and which they felt was more hardy. Do you feel that the centennial dwarf crape myrtle would survive the winters of upstate New York? We would be planting it on the south side of our home approximately five feet from the house. Also, if you feel it would be okay, do you know which of your distrbutors in our area carry this variety of crape myrtle. Thank you.

Debbie Wigle

Answer: Centennial is only considered hardy into zone 7 and according to your zip code you are gardening in zone 5. Two zones is a big difference to try to overcome with microclimate and so I definitely would not recommend Centennial for your area.

In zone 5, you have a fairly limited selection of crepe myrtles. You might try Pecos, Zuni or Tuscarora -- these are considerd hardy into zone 6 so would have a better chance in your area if you have a sheltered spot with protection from winter winds and excellent drainage. Please understand that they are not reliably hardy in zone 5 so they may not survive for you, or they may be root hardy but never grow to their full size due to dieing back every winter. Your local professional nursery staff and/or county extension should be most familiar with what you can expect. Good luck with your experiment!

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