red rocket crape myrtle - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by n312a
July 22, 2008
I live in central florida
do these red rockets grow up into trees or shrubs
and what type of care is required.
I am planning on a full sun area.

thanks for any help

Answer from NGA
July 22, 2008
All crape myrtles need full sun. This is especially true with red-flowered crape myrtles since shade or cloudy weather can cause some selections to lose their red flower color.

As with other crape myrtles, they are drought-tolerant once established, but extra water encourages faster and larger growth. The same situation applies with fertilizer: crape myrtles don?t require it but will grow faster if fertilizer is applied.

Crape myrtles are tolerant of most planting conditions, with two exceptions. First, crape myrtles grow poorly in wet soils. Second, crape myrtles should not be planted too deep. Crape myrtle root systems grow best in well-aerated soil or near the soil surface, and plant growth, flowering, and vigor are reduced when root systems are planted below the soil level or in wet, poorly drained soils.

Crape myrtles generally require little pruning if properly placed in the garden. Occasional pruning to improve plant shape may be done anytime after leaves have fallen. However, avoid hard pruning that removes stems or branches three or more inches in diameter. This severe pruning results in excess leafy growth, sprouting and delayed flowering.

Tip pruning to remove old flower clusters promotes reflowering but is not practical for large plants or low maintenance gardens. Tip pruning is largely unnecessary on many newer red-flowered selections since they naturally repeat-bloom.

Just like its name suggests, the Red Rocket Crape Myrtle shoots up like a rocket, and gives you beautiful red blooms. It will grow 20-30 feet high and 10-15 feet wide at maturity.

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