Crape Myrtle - Knowledgebase Question

kalamazoo, MI
Question by dfgquilter
April 16, 2010
I have seen Crape Myrtle trees and bushes here in Zone 5.
They are gorgeous!!
However, later, I read that Zone 5 isn't warm enough for them! Is that correct?
I was so hoping to buy some for Zone 5.
Thanks, Dorian

Answer from NGA
April 16, 2010


According to most sources, Lagerstroemia indica is hardy to Zone 7b but in my own experience the plant is hardy at least to Zone 6a. However, in much of Zone 7 and in Zone 6 or any colder area, crape myrtles will be grown almost exclusively as die-back shrubs that resprout every year from the base, where in warmer areas they develop substantial trunks and can grow into sizable trees. Hardiness in also dependent on summer climate, since the new wood of this shrub needs heat to ripen well. Thus the more summer heat the plant receives the more cold it can generally withstand during the colder months. I think you'll have most success if you plant the most cold hardy crape myrtle you can find and place it in a somewhat protected garden spot.

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