Lagerstroemia indica 'Rubra' and 'Red Rocket'
|Exuberant orange-red fall foliage
|The tree at five years in our garden – still small
Very popular in the Southern U.S., crape myrtle is at the northern edge of its hardiness in our zone 6 garden. The last tree to bloom for us, but when it does it's quite a sight. For years, I never pruned the tree, and its growth habit got a little rangy, but a judicious trimming operation was all it needed for a more elegant form. It also brought out another great asset of this small tree: the reddish exfoliating bark on the naked strong uprights of the multi-trunk structure. In spring of 2015, our tree re-emerged unhappy, only leafing out on a third of its main branches. Perhaps those two true zone-6 winters of 2014 and 2015 were a bit much for this Southern lady. Still, I hope she hangs in there – I'll miss her when she's gone!
|magenta (late summer)
|ordinary garden soil
Fast-forward a couple of years, and we've moved to the Houston area – land of the crape myrtle! They're everywhere, in medians, communal plantings in the ubiquitous master-planned communities – and at garden centers. We picked up one that appears to be similar to our old 'Rubra', named 'Red Rocket'. Still small, but I'm already looking forward to when it's a full-grown tree! Back in Pennsylvania, crape myrtles were among the very last trees to leaf out in spring, waiting till well into May, but down in our new garden, new leaves appear as early as late February.
|Marvellous bark, marvellous structure
|Newly planted 'Red Rocket'
|'Red Rocket', blooming early July
|New leaves in February for 'Red Rocket'
In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: back fence border
About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Lagerstroemia indica 'Rubra' and 'Red Rocket'
- Seed from '05 garden. Baggy 35F (4w) - 70F (40d; 8%G, 11d)
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