Trees and Shrubs forum: Sharing photos of my crepe myrtle seedlings

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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dave
Aug 19, 2015 2:03 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

After not growing crepe myrtles from seed for over a decade, I've gotten back into it. This year I sowed a nice collection of seeds that were open pollinated on my Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Ebony Flame')

Well! They germinated in early March and I planted them in the ground a couple months later. I've had a number of exciting seedlings start to bloom and I'm seeing lots of interesting colors.

As you know, Ebony Flame is one of the new black leafed crepe myrtles. My seedlings are coming up with about 10% black leaves. The rest have green leaves, and half of them have a green stem and the other half have a red stem.

I'm particularly excited about this one:

Thumb of 2015-08-19/dave/aef085

As you can see, it has watermelon colored blooms.

In the green leaf/red stem variety, I have this promising looking one:

Thumb of 2015-08-19/dave/5e23f7

The blooms are variegated with cherry red and white. A lovely bloom!

I have about 30 seedlings out there that look promising and if there is interest, I'll continue posting photos as they each bloom.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Sep 8, 2015 5:22 PM CST
Finding this post late but there is interest! I would love to see how they come along Dave. I like both of the ones posted above. The latter one reminds me of peppermint candies - you know, the round ones with the red & white swirls.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Sep 14, 2015 11:21 PM CST
I agree

I love crepe myrtle, which is a challenge in my Zone. No huge trees, but my Muskogee is giving it a try - it is ~ 12 feet high. I built a cage around it last year and filled with leaves to 6 ' high.

All told I have 8 crepe myrtles - one (Sioux) that I grew from seed last year. I have another 5 seedlings I started this year - all dwarf varieties.

And yes - post more pics. Smiling I think that is way cool in your climate you plant seeds and they bloom same year.
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Name: Spiritjewelz Kim
East Tn (Zone 7a)
love old roses, lilacs, spider lili
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Spiritjewelz
Oct 9, 2015 8:01 AM CST
These are gorgeous! Love the watermelon on dark foliage!
.....when in doubt, add seeds, then water!
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Oct 9, 2015 9:36 AM CST
dave said: This year I sowed a nice collection of seeds that were open pollinated on my Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Ebony Flame')

I have about 30 seedlings out there that look promising and if there is interest, I'll continue posting photos as they each bloom.


Do you also have then quite a few other mature crepe myrtles?

Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Oct 9, 2015 10:15 AM CST
Hurray! I been wondering if you would post your seedlings. Love to see your collection of these as well.
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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Oct 9, 2015 10:36 AM CST
Y'know, Dave....you could hybridize for cold hardy varieties and come up with one that is hardy to zones 4 and 5 and make a lot of people happy... Big Grin

Personally, I just love looking at the pictures. I know this is late, but I there is interest here, too, to see more pictures!
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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dave
Oct 9, 2015 11:53 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I'll try to get some more photos but most of the blooms are long gone, and most of my seedlings didn't bloom this year (only maybe 15%).

I have quite a collection of mature crepe myrtles. If I had to count I'd say I own maybe 15 different varieties totaling perhaps a hundred trees. Now if you count little plants, seedlings and so forth, the number is much, much higher. Whistling

I'll see about some new photos soon. Smiling
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Nov 3, 2015 12:23 AM CST
Love the seedlings! I do hope you will post more pictures if you have them!
Natalie

Midway401
Apr 16, 2016 5:54 AM CST
I never thought about planting the seeds to see different ones. Please keep posting.
Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
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Shannon
Apr 27, 2016 11:40 AM CST
Just found this post . Love the babies @Dave Our new home has two big crepe myrtles both pink . Only a few blooms
this year hopefully they will be happier next year. Do you ever sell any babies ?? I am thinking of lining the driveway with
them Whistling

Hope all is well with you and your family Lovey dubby
The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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dave
Apr 27, 2016 11:43 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Hi Shannon Smiling

We do sometimes sell the crepe myrtles locally, when the children do their plant sales. I'll often pot up 10 of them or so and sell them as mixed crepe myrtles. More frequently, though, if I have a visitor, I'll offer them to take some home and if they like the idea, I just dig up a few and put them in a box for them.

I guess I could send them through the mail but I'd want to do that when they are dormant for better success. Remind me next winter and I'll send you some if I still have some around. Smiling
Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
The House on the Hill Gardens
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Shannon
Apr 27, 2016 11:44 AM CST
Hurray! Hurray! Thank you so much. I think they will look beautiful along the driveway . Hurray!
The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Apr 29, 2016 1:01 AM CST
Dave, we'd love to see some more pictures when you have time!

Shannon, you should try growing some from seed! Just looking at Dave's babies makes me want to give it a try too!
Natalie
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 8, 2016 10:54 AM CST
Dave have you ever seen a dark leaf crepe myrtle with variegation or tricolored foliage? If so I'd love to know the name of it or where to find it. thanks in advanced and I can't wait to see this years blooms!!
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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dave
Jun 8, 2016 11:39 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Hi Daniel, I've never seen one like you're talking about. I have no doubt that with all the breeding work being done right now, it's only a matter of time. Smiling
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Fruit Growers Permaculture Hybridizer Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Daylilies
Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Photography Herbs Region: United States of America Composter
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 8, 2016 12:02 PM CST
Crossing Fingers! I hope so, thanks Dave.
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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dave
Dec 24, 2016 8:31 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I collected seeds from these seedlings this year, and am considering offering the seeds through the group seed swap that's going on right now. If anyone has an interest, join that swap and post in the "Chat Thread" over there.

Swap: https://garden.org/apps/swap/v...

The thread "Chat Thread" in 2nd Annual "Not from the Seed Rack Seed Swap" Any seeds, all members.
Name: Colleen
Edgewood, NM (Zone 5b)
Live Long & Prosper.
Agoo
Feb 2, 2017 10:30 AM CST
Dave, I love crepe myrtles. What is your method of germinating the seeds? Thank You!
Happy Gardening :-)
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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dave
Feb 2, 2017 11:16 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Germinating these is easy. When you get your seeds, you can use the seed packet they came in to stratify them. You must stratify them for 60 days!! No exceptions to this rule.

So, my seeds come in a real nice ziplock baggy (the bags were a gift from @RickCorey, thank you!). I then add quite a bit of dry vermiculite. If you don't have that you can use fine sterile potting soil. Mix it up really nice so the seeds are evenly distributed throughout the bag. Then add just enough water to the bag to moisten the contents. I use reverse osmosis water. I wouldn't want to add chlorinated water (but I'm not sure if that's just my paranoia.)

Mark with a sharpee the variety name and today's date on the outside of the bag, and put it in the fridge.

What I do is every couple weeks, take it, open it up, dump the contents into a clean bowl, mix it up quite a bit, and let it breath for a few minutes. Then repack it into the baggy and put it back into the fridge. Once the 60 days are up, take the contents out and spread them onto a folded paper towel. Spread it as evenly as possible, then fold in half and put it into a large ziplock or sandwich bag and place under growlights. (This is a form of the "paper towel method", which I'm sure you're all familiar with.)

Keep it warm (a heating pad helps). Check it daily. Within a few days you'll start to see germination. Pick each seedling out as they germinate and pot them into cells.

Transplant into the garden as soon as you think they are ready (the earlier the better! They languish when stuck in little pots). Make sure frost is long past. KEEP THEM WARM. Crepe Myrtles absolutely hate the cold and will be stunted, sometimes permanently. If it's cold outside, keep them inside your house.

I think I waited until mid to late April to transplant them into the ground.

This is what my bed looked like in mid July of the same year:

Thumb of 2017-01-21/dave/4bad82

You see they are all about 12 inches tall. About half of them bloomed in mid August and beyond.

Thumb of 2017-01-21/dave/138242 Thumb of 2017-01-21/dave/238ad9

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