Crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica and its hybrids) are flowering trees and shrubs widely grown in Australian gardens. They are grown for their pastel crepe-like flowers, which appear for many months from late spring to autumn in colours of bright pink, pale pink, mauve, red and white.
The trees also have excellent autumn leaf colour and attractive bark. These deciduous plants can be grown as a stand-alone shade or feature tree, as an informal hedge or screen, or as a container or courtyard plant. They are also suited to street tree planting.
There are many varieties of crepe myrtle to include in a space in your garden or a very large pot. Visit your hardware or garden centre for advice on varieties and flower colour that would suit your garden. Here are a few to consider.
- Lagerstroemia indica include varieties from small shrubs to trees. They have varieties with white, pink or red flowers and showy bark with green foliage.
- The Indian Summer series, have good disease resistance, and varieties with white, pink and red flowers including some with dark plum coloured leaves.
- The Magic series, has a good resistance to powdery mildew and has varieties with red, white or pink flower s including some with dark plum coloured leaves.
Aspect Crepe myrtles need a sunny location with full sun but tolerate some shade for part of the day. They need good air circulation.
Soil All grow best with well-drained soil. Before planting add home-made compost or apply Seasol Super Compost.
Climate Crepe myrtles grow in all climates and tolerate both heat and frost. The flowering season is shorter in cold climates where it may be delayed until mid to late summer. In tropical areas select the stately queen crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia speciosa), which grows to around 9-15m high.