During summer, Water daily or when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top. During Winter season water once in 2 days or when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top. Keep the soil lightly moist at all times, but do not overwater as this will cause brown spots and leaf drop. Curly or dry leaves suggest, the plant is dry and needs watering. Water in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Always check your soil before watering.
During summer season keep the plants in shaded area and during winter season plants can withstand direct/indirect light.
During summer season or when the temperature is above 45°C place the plant in shaded area. During winter season or the when the temperature is below 45°C the plants can be directly placed in direct/indirect sunlight.
Apply liquid fertilizer or slow release fertilizer once in 15 days. Always fertilizer the plants during the morning hours when the temperature is low. For best results use Folikraft ready to use Outdoor Plant Food / Flower Booster.
Lagerstroemia indica, commonly known as Crape Myrtle, is a deciduous flowering tree or shrub native to parts of Asia. It is renowned for its beautiful, showy flowers that come in various colors and its attractive bark. Here is a description and care guide for Lagerstroemia indica:
Size: Crape Myrtle can vary in size depending on the cultivar and growing conditions. It typically grows between 10 and 30 feet (3 to 9 meters) in height, with a spread of 10 to 25 feet (3 to 7.5 meters). There are also dwarf varieties available that stay smaller. Leaves: The leaves are elongated and usually have a glossy, dark green color. In fall, they may turn shades of yellow, orange, or red before dropping. Flowers: One of the main highlights of Crape Myrtle is its abundant flowers. They appear in clusters at the ends of branches and come in a wide range of colors, including shades of pink, white, lavender, and red. The flowers have crinkled petals, giving them a delicate and airy appearance. They typically bloom in summer and continue into early fall, adding vibrant color to the landscape. Bark: The bark of Crape Myrtle is attractive and often exfoliates to reveal a smooth, mottled texture in shades of gray, tan, and brown. This unique bark adds visual interest to the tree during the winter months.
Sunlight: Crape Myrtle thrives in full sun, meaning it requires at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily to bloom profusely and maintain a healthy growth habit.
Soil: Plant Crape Myrtle in well-draining soil that is fertile and rich in organic matter. It tolerates a range of soil types but prefers slightly acidic to neutral pH levels.
Watering: Established Crape Myrtle trees are relatively drought-tolerant, but regular watering is essential, especially during hot and dry periods. Water deeply and thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.
Pruning: Pruning Crape Myrtle is generally done in late winter or early spring when the tree is dormant. Remove any dead, diseased, or crossing branches. You can also selectively prune to shape the tree or encourage better air circulation. Avoid the practice of "topping" or severe pruning, as it can lead to weak growth and reduce flowering.
Fertilizer: Crape Myrtle benefits from regular fertilization. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring, just before new growth begins. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application rates. A second application can be made in mid-summer if desired.
Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree, leaving a few inches of space around the trunk. Mulch helps conserve soil moisture, suppresses weed growth, and moderates soil temperature. It also adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down over time.
Winter protection: In colder climates, where temperatures drop below freezing, Crape Myrtle may require winter protection. Cover the base of the tree with a layer of mulch to insulate the roots. Wrapping the trunk with burlap or using frost blankets can also provide some protection from freezing temperatures.
Pests and diseases: Crape Myrtle is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, occasional issues such as powdery mildew or aphid infestations can occur. Regularly inspect the plant for any signs of pest or disease problems and take appropriate measures, such as using horticultural oils or insecticidal soaps if needed.
Crape Myrtle is a stunning flowering tree that adds beauty and color to gardens and landscapes. With proper care, including full sun exposure, well-draining soil, regular watering, and occasional pruning, you can enjoy the vibrant blooms and unique bark of Lagerstroemia indica.