Neighborhoods are a bloom with crape myrtles but it is easy to tell many residents are not happy with their plants. Why you ask? It's mainly because they bought the wrong variety. Or maybe they did not have a choice -- the wrong variety was planted for them.
You can tell the unhappy residents by the plants that have been cut back time and time again. Often this is due to the fact that the wrong crape myrtle was planted. Did you know these plants come in a large assortment of sizes? Some are dwarf and ground cover-like. There are others that range upwards to tall trees over 20 feet tall and wide.
So which crape myrtle would you like? Chances are you are not going to be happy selecting them just by color. You have to get to know your crape myrtles by name. The problem is many garden centers just display their plants by color. So you have to ask about the varieties. If they don't know the variety names then I would go some where else.
Oh yes, now is also the time to pick out the variety by name and color. Some mistakes are made at the nursery and colors may be switched. So if you want a crape myrtle that fits into the space you want you have to be selective and track down the variety.
How do you know the best crape myrtles? Check out the University of Florida guide to the types that grow locally. It also lists powdery mildew resistance, bark color and more. You can get a free copy by calling your local Extension office. Or you might visit the University?s web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg266 for your copy of the bulletin.
When you have the right crape myrtle for your yard, it should be a relatively carefree plant with little pruning needed. Most are great looking plants if left to grow naturally.