You would never know it by looking at this delicate blossom cluster, but this Natchez White crepe myrtle is a fairly large tree.
I was amazed when I saw them when Tall & Handsome and I moved back to Alabama and took back possession of our home from the tenant, Big Jim the Terrible who had wrecked havoc both inside and out while he rented from us (another story all together).
Two things amazed me. One, the crepe myrtles survived and two they had grown! A lot! I don’t recall them even being waist high when I left back in 2004. Now, I would estimate they’re a good 15 feet tall.
Crepe myrtles make excellent landscape trees and will bloom most of the summer. They are also drought and heat tolerant once established. My white crepe myrtles bloomed abundantly last year but, have been a little more sparse with blooms this year.
One reason I especially enjoy my white crepe myrtle is towards the end of summer when the blossoms begin to fade the the petals start to slowly flutter to the ground. It looks like little snowflake are falling to the ground and it has such a peaceful effect.
About this time of the year is when I begin to notice the leaves taking on the slightest tinge of color. I know it won’t be too long before the leaves will be red and yellow.
Crepe myrtles bloom in a wide range of colors from white to lilac.
Traditionally crepe myrtles had powdery mildew problem (a fungus problem) and if you purchase some of the older cultivars you will still run into that problem. It’s more unsightly than it is dangerous or harmful and can usually be taken care of with a fungicide or if your problem is caused by pests a soapy insecticide will work. I try to remain as chemical free as possible so I try to purchase cultivars that are pest free and disease resistant.
A good rule of thumb in picking your crepe myrtles is to purchase cultivars with Native American names…like my Natchez White.
Another great bonus with crepe myrtles is their exfoliating bark that gives the tree interest in the off season like winter.
As you can see, there are so many reason why I love these little big trees…
© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.