Dwarf Crape Myrtle

By Charlie Nardozzi

If you love crape myrtle but lack the space to grow one, you'll be thrilled with a new introduction from the United States National Arboretum breeding program. Lagerstroemia 'Chickasaw' grows only 15 to 18 inches tall in a mounding habit (normal tree height is 6 to 10 feet), making it perfect for containers, rock gardens, or even bonsai. New growth is red, and by midsummer the plant is loaded with lavender flowers that bloom for three to four weeks and then bloom again in fall. The foliage resists mildew; the plant is hardy in zones 7 through 9, and the roots are hardy to zone 6. If grown in a container in a freeze-prone area, 'Chickasaw' needs to be brought into an unheated garage in winter. Plants are available from garden centers.

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