Pacific Northwest Gardening forum: Crepe myrtles in the PNW?

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Jul 13, 2015 6:28 PM CST
I read Dave's article today, and know from his past comments that this is a favorite tree for him. I don't think I've ever seen one, although I could have and just not known what it was. Seems most of the folks who have them live in hotter southern areas. Do they grow in our cooler climate? Perhaps bloom less profusely or something? Or have I just 'missed' this tree for one reason or another? Curious...
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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Jul 13, 2015 6:42 PM CST
Deb, I had one in my front bed. Only looked good one hot summer about 7 or 8 years back. The winter would take out parts of it so was always pruning the dead out of it. Finally took the chain saw to it because it was so ugly. It would bloom in late august some times.
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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Jul 13, 2015 6:56 PM CST
This is the only picture of the sad thing. Maybe the new cultivars are better.
Thumb of 2015-07-14/springcolor/34c957

You have to expand the picture..
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Name: Linda
Bellevue, WA (Zone 8a)
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In2art
Jul 21, 2015 12:11 PM CST
@springcolor...I think that may be a larch...it is definitely not a crepe myrtle.

They sell a variety of crepe myrtles at Wells Medina Nursery, but I have never personally seen one in bloom around here. Even without blooms, I think they are an attractive multi-stemmed tree, and have considered putting one in my front yard.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Jul 21, 2015 12:20 PM CST
Sounds like they are not particularly well suited to our area, which may be why they are so unfamiliar to me. I'm trying to use natives for new plantings, dogwoods and serviceberries have been nice small ornamentals.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
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springcolor
Jul 21, 2015 12:28 PM CST
Linda it's not the evergreen, Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar,. If you enlarge the picture you can see the truck in front of the heat pump. Not a good picture but all I had. Funny don't seem to take pictures of ugly! Hilarious!
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[Last edited by springcolor - Jul 21, 2015 12:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
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Oberon46
Jul 23, 2015 8:39 AM CST
I tried (paid $50 for one from Hidden Springs) that was supposed to be hardy. It grew the summer it was planted but died over winter. Don't know if mulch would have helped. I am trying two clematis that are supposed to be hardy enough for here. But I am going to mulch both this winter. Shorter ones growing to 6 and 10 feet respectively.
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Name: Joy Wooldridge
Kalama, Wa. (Zone 8b)
Sunset Zone 6, Heat zone 4,
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Joy
Jul 26, 2015 10:30 PM CST
I've heard talk about growing them on a Portland gardening radio show. I do know there are cultivars that are suppose to do well here. I think they're just not all that popular here for some reason?

I found this online, maybe it will help? http://www.pacifichorticulture.org/articles/crape-myrtles-in...

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Name: Kate
Kirkland, WA (Zone 7b)
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Maukahound
Jul 30, 2015 11:31 AM CST
Crepe Myrtles in the PNW? - Absolutely! The one I planted in Sammamish reached 12' over a 15 year period, and was pruned to a tree form. It was sited in full sun, in amended clay-based soil with sharp drainage. Never had any disease, pest problems or limb-loss from winter weather. They are not widely planted here; I suppose that is because many people don't know about them. Wells Medina has sold them for many years; their selections are hardy for the general 7 / 8 zoning. Because of the way my property was sited in Sammamish (very exposed), I was considered zone 6. If you have the room & the determination, I would definitely recommend planting one. Gorgeous form & blooms - worth the effort!
Name: Linda
Bellevue, WA (Zone 8a)
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In2art
Jul 31, 2015 1:50 PM CST
I have seen them at Wells Medina. There are some growing at CUH too. I have never seen one in bloom - although I am sure this will be a good year for them. Do they bloom every year for you Maukahound?
Name: Kate
Kirkland, WA (Zone 7b)
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Maukahound
Jul 31, 2015 3:39 PM CST
They bloomed every single year - they are typically hardy to Zone 7 throughout the southeastern US. I had a 100% positive experience with mine, but as I stated, it was sited in full sun/sharp drainage. There were more than several winters with temperatures in the teens & a couple times, single digits. There were never any problems with freeze/thaw, resulting in split trunk & branches. I think they're pretty sturdy, and I wish more folks would give them a try. I really appreciate plants of any type that are so trouble-free! I wish I had a spot where I live now: I saw the purple-leaved varieties & thought about a large container situation, but quickly put that to rest: that's really pushing the limits! I looked for a photo last night, but couldn't find them. Perhaps on my FB page. If I find, I'll post.
Name: Linda
Bellevue, WA (Zone 8a)
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In2art
Jul 31, 2015 11:00 PM CST
That sounds great...now I REALLY want one. I have a pink dogwood in my front yard that has had anthracnose for years (pretty typical for the pinks). I would love to take it out and replace it with a Crape Myrtle. The two things that have stopped me are that I am not sure that my sun is full enough (it might be) and mostly, under that tree is my woodland garden. If I take it out, it will be years before those plants have shade again. Not sure if I am up to changing the whole bed to a sun one, and not sure where I would move all the shade lovers to. I have envisioned a beautiful, multi-stemmed tree with uplighting at the top of driveway...
Name: Kate
Kirkland, WA (Zone 7b)
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Maukahound
Aug 5, 2015 12:43 PM CST
I had L. 'Hopi'. The only photos I currently have access to show it leafed out but not in flower. (I'm certain I have one in full flower, but will have to access my old computer for that file.)
However, I have uploaded a borrowed image of Lagerstroemia 'Moonlight Magic'. The result of yesterday's lunch hour trip to Wells. I simply could not exercise any restraint...
$20 of entertainment & a great investment if it thrives: the leaves glow when backlit.

Thumb of 2015-08-05/Maukahound/d004a2

Not the best image - looks muddy. When the sun returns, I'll get a shot of it backlit.
[Last edited by Maukahound - Aug 5, 2015 6:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Linda
Bellevue, WA (Zone 8a)
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In2art
Aug 7, 2015 6:06 PM CST
ooh, it sounds great. I will look forward to seeing the backlit leaves photo

Also reminds me that I would like to make a visit to Wells Medina.
Name: Ali
Key Peninsula, western WA (Zone 8b)
lohrn4
Aug 11, 2015 3:46 PM CST
In2art, I just, today, received a survey from the Arbor Day Foundation wherein if I fill out the survey they will send me 5 American Redbud, 5 white Dogwood and 2 crepemyrtle shrubs. I would only like one of the Redbuds, one Dogwood and no crepemyrtle, so if you, or anyone reading this, are interested in some free trees or shrubs, just let me know, otherwise, I can just check off the box that states, "Send me no trees". I don't live that far from you and my husband works in Kent so it shouldn't be difficult to get them to you. Just let me know. Also, there is a little blurb that says, "We'll notify you when your trees will be shipped". Since this "ends" 12/31/2015 I expect they will send in the springtime. Still, they are free trees and shrubs...
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Aug 11, 2015 4:04 PM CST
Just a word to the wise, Lohrn4, if this is the same promotion I took advantage of many many years ago, your trees/shrubs will be little teeny bare-root pencil whips with painted ends to identify which is which. No worries, though, just stick them in a nursery pot for a couple years to get them established and then you can plant them out. Most of my sticks actually did grow, and about half are still thriving (some died to winter kill, bugs/disease, or simply being run over by dogs or tractors). I used them as a visual screen barrier at one end of our property, so they didn't get a whole lot of attention once they were big enough to be on their own. Good luck!
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Ali
Key Peninsula, western WA (Zone 8b)
lohrn4
Aug 11, 2015 4:53 PM CST
Well now, that's why I like the internet! Thanks for the info, Deb. Maybe that's why they give 5 each. Glare hmmm. Still, I suppose those little seedlings have to start somewhere in their little seedling lives... I do have a spot to plant two of those but not 10 so if anyone is still interested in taking a chance, otherwise, I'll just go ahead and check the don't send box, not a problem.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Aug 11, 2015 4:58 PM CST
My mother did that for a few year and they are very small, just as Deb described. Good luck with them.
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Name: Ali
Key Peninsula, western WA (Zone 8b)
lohrn4
Aug 11, 2015 7:58 PM CST
Should I even bother?
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
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springcolor
Aug 11, 2015 10:33 PM CST
Why not, you can pot them up and watch them grow. At least you will not be disappointed when they come.
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