Crepe Myrtles

Episode: 2
Title: Crepe Myrtles
Broadcast: Mar 10th 2018
Presenter: Melissa King

Crepe Myrtles are one of Mels all time favourite trees. You’ll often see the Crepe Myrtle growing in hot dry areas or as roadside planting and for good reason- it is one tough beautiful trees!

  • Come summer Crepe Myrtles are smothered in vibrant flowers - in shades of pink, purple, white and reddish tones.
  • In Autumn the flowers give way to gorgeous foliage colour in all the sunset shades
  • Even when they are bare in winter the trunk is a real feature - with beautifully smooth, mottled bark. In fact the bark on these trees is like a good wine, it only gets better with age.
  • Come spring the lime green new growth is iridescent. If you look closely you can see that the petals on the flower are wonderfully ruffled and Crepe like, hence the name Crepe Myrtle.
  • The only downside to this tree is that some of the older varieties tend to be susceptible to Powdery Mildew, so grow them in a sunny spot with good air circulation of pick one of the spectacular new varieties that are tough and powdery mildew resistant.
  • Crepe Myrtles lose their foliage in the winter, they’re a great choice if you want a tree that provides summer shade but still lets the warming sun in in the winter.
  • You can prune them back in the winter. If you promote long arches branches of blooms they can lose some of that lovely natural shape. Mel recommends leaving them unpruned and just cut back any spent flower heads after flowering. The tree will still bloom beautifully and you get a more attractive shape.

The Garden Gurus