AgEBB-MU CAFNR Extension

David Burton
Civic Communications Specialist
2400 S. Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807

August 4, 2017

Crepe Myrtle is Premier Summer and Fall Bloomer
if a Hardy Variety is Used Says MU Extension Educator

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The crepe myrtle is a premier summer and fall blooming shrub. Attractive long lasting flowers grace this plant, which can range in size from small bushes to trees according to Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator with University of Missouri Extension.

The crepe myrtle originated in Asia. Two species are commonly grown in the United States. The Indian species, which was first planted in the U.S. in 1747, and the Japanese species, which was introduced in the 1950's.

Why do we plant crepe myrtle? First, because the plant has lovely vibrant-colored flowers, interesting growth habit, and it is a shrub that blooms profusely in summer and autumn.

"Also, the crepe myrtle is long lived, withstands drought, and is not troubled unduly by insects or diseases. It will tolerate a range of soil types," said McGowan.

The crepe myrtle is best pruned in late winter or early spring before growth begins. Remove spent flower heads.

Does this plant have any problems in the Ozarks? Yes, it does!

"Crepe myrtle is a plant that is near its limit of hardiness in the Ozarks, and can suffer winter injury in cold winters," said McGowan.

She recommends planting hardy cultivars. "Natchez" is a good choice. Powdery mildew can also be a problem. On crepe myrtles.

Source: Kelly McGowan, (417) 881-8909

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