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What's in Bloom Today?

By: Sandra Nelson

Lagerstroemia indica, better known as Crape Myrtle, is bursting into bloom here in Kansas City.




Grown as a  4 – 6 foot upright, multi-stemmed deciduous shrub here in the Midwest, Crape Myrtles sport gorgeous rose, red, purple or white colored blooms typically beginning in July and continuing through September. In milder years however, they may bloom well into October. Preferring a protected location with full sun and well-drained but average soil, they will tend to produce lush foliage and few flowers in overly rich soil. Be careful not to over-fertilize, but do water the roots deeply during dry spells, Avoid spraying water on the foliage since Crape Myrtle does have a tendency to develop powdery mildew and fungal leaf spot. Because Midwestern Crape Myrtle often dies back to the ground over winter, applying a generous layer of mulch can help protect the root system during cold weather. Crape Myrtle makes a striking specimen plant or is impressive in groupings.