September Bloomin’ SD

September 19, 2012

The Fabulous Crepe Myrtle


san diego landscaping ideasIn the heat of late summer and early fall in San Diego County you can see the blooms of the Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstoemia indica) taking over the visual landscape in a riot of colors. 

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The Crepe Myrtle offers a profusion of ruffled blossoms in either pink, fuchsia, red, apricot, or white. This is no small feat, especially in east county when we hit 100 plus degree days. 

The Crepe Myrtle is one of my favorites. My hubby, Todd the Toolman says all plants are my favorites. Whether it becomes your favorite or not, you won’t be sorry if you decide to put one, two or more in your garden. 

You should know if you are a perfectionist gardener like me, this plant prefers to be a shrub.  I, of course, prefer  it in tree format.  Thus the battle continues between gardener and plant.  We as gardeners seek to prune and shape our plants into submission, and like rebellious teenagers they protest our guidance with defiant willfulness to do as they like.

Note: The plant usually wins the battle as exhibited above.

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The Crepe Myrtle is a fairly drought tolerant plant once it’s established–a bonus for our dry climate. When they finish blooming, you are left with seed pods that if left to dry will give you more trees.  Bonus!

La Mesa CA

The Crepe Myrtle loses its leaves in the winter, so don’t think it has up and died on you, if you have a brown thumb.  And please don’t let it being deciduous discourage you from planting it, as this beauty leaves you with a framework of beautifully mottled bark–a definite treat. 

I personally like Crepe Myrtle’s planted as a single specimen, under planted by complimentary plants.  However if I had a long enough driveway, I would plant it in long rows guiding the driver to your destination. Alas, wee humble cottages in the heart of the Village of La Mesa don’t have long driveways.

So why not give the Crepe Myrtle a try in your garden?  You can’t all be perfectionist gardeners out there like moi. I promise you will be pleased with the results.

Love low water plants check out this beauty from last month.  Have a beautiful week!


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