Originally posted August 2012
There aren’t many plants, shrubs or trees that are at their best in August, especially since August is routinely the hottest month in Texas. The beautiful blooming Crape Myrtle is the exception and I highly recommend you have at least one in your landscape. It will certainly provide you a little, or a lot of, flowering decor when most everything else is “heat dormant” (many plants and shrubs in Texas, such as roses, petunias and tomatoes, preserve their energy and will not bloom when temps routinely reach above 95 degrees.)
As I’ve mentioned before, not only are Crape Myrtles beautiful in bloom, they are strikingly beautiful in the fall when their leaves turn orange and in the winter after they’ve lost their leaves. Their bark oftentimes peels in very thin sheets leaving the trunks smooth and displaying artistic shapes of various shades of gray and brown.
Today’s post is predominately a pictorial of Crape Myrtles currently in bloom that I snapped with my camera over the past week – the last week of August – all within several blocks of my home and one watermelon variety thriving in my own landscape. As you will see below, the variety and vibrancy of colors, shapes and sizes is magnificent. Another reason this post is predominately a pictorial is because I wish to provide you a link to a Web site that will answer just about any question you could possibly have regarding selection, planting and care of Crape Myrtles. I simply couldn’t do a better job!
I will say a few things before I send you off to a more detailed site: Probably the most important thing to remember is to make certain you plant your Crape Myrtle(s) in full to almost full sun. Secondly, the only issue I’ve ever had with mine is powdery mildew in the early spring. A thin spray of fungicide or horticultural oil in the spring usually does the trick for the season. My Crapes are about 15 – 20 years old, however, nowadays you can find fungus resistant varieties that are nearly issue-free. And thirdly, as you will see, the hues of Crape Myrtle blooms vary from white, to pinks, to purples, to deep reds. Their sizes also vary greatly – from small accent shrubs to trees growing the height of a two-story home. You are certain to find a color or two to compliment your home, as well as the perfect size for your particular landscape.
As I promised, please see http://crapemyrtletrails.org/ for an enormous amount of information about Crape Myrtles. In the meantime, enjoy the pics below from August in North Texas.
Until next time,