Crepe myrtle trees are charming, delicate trees that produce bright, magnificent flowers in the summer and great fall colors when the weather cools. Crepe myrtle is an ornamental plant or tree with a wide range of uses. Crepe myrtle trees are often cultivated in the community gardens and for commercial uses due to their unusual bark, which includes gorgeous fall colors. Even during summer, these trees produce lovely blossoms that can last a long time. Have you ever wondered where crepe myrtle trees came from? Crepe Myrtle is a plant that can be found in India, Southeast Asia, and Northern Australia. Talking about the features of the crepe myrtle tree, it belongs to the family of Lythraceae. The genus of the crepe myrtle tree is Lagerstroemia. The crepe myrtle tree comes in a varying 50 species.
Scientific Classification of Crepe Myrtle Tree
The kingdom of the crepe myrtle tree is Plantae and the sub-kingdom is known as Tracheobionta. This tree’s division is Magnoliophyta and its subdivision is called Spermatophyta. The class in which the crepe myrtle tree belongs is Magnoliopsida and the subclass is Rosidae. The order of this plant is Myrtales and the species is Indica L.
Specifications of the Crepe Myrtle Tree
- The crepe myrtle tree is an evergreen plant including small trees and shrubs.
- The crepe myrtle tree is a deciduous plant.
- The size of the crepe myrtle tree is 20-30 feet tall with 10-15 feet wide.
- The leaves of the crepe myrtle tree are of dark green color with a paler.
- The leaves of this tree are 1-3 inches long.
- Crepe myrtle tree can survive in extreme drought weather.
- The soil in which the crepe myrtle tree grows should be nutrient-rich and must be well-drained.
- The pH level of the soil should be within 5.0-6.5 for the ideal growth of the crepe myrtle tree.
- One more thing that this tree requires for its development is at least 6 hours of daily sunlight.
- The crepe myrtle tree is well-known, especially for its flowers. It produces different colored flowers like pink, red, white, purple, etc.
- The season in which the crepe myrtle tree grows favorably is during early spring or late winters.
Root System of Crepe Myrtle Tree
Roots are important for the plant to survive. Hence, before we plan to cultivate a crepe myrtle tree in our garden, we should know about its root system in a little detail. The root of this plant is of the fibrous type and shallow in depth. If planted in a taproot system, the crepe myrtle plant cannot grow deep and dense. The roots of this plant can only survive near the surface of the ground. One astonishing factor about these trees is that it extends upto three times than the canopy area on which it is planted. Plants surrounding the Crepe Myrtle tree don’t really grow adequately because their roots are closer to the ground, and they restrict the Crepe Myrtle’s development by battling for water against its shallow roots. Because the roots of this plant really aren’t invasive, they pose no harm to the neighboring concrete. Crepe Myrtle roots are therapeutic because they are diuretic, detoxicant, and astringent.
What are the Uses of the Crepe Myrtle Tree
Crepe myrtle trees are very significant for a variety of purposes. Let’s look into them in more detail:
- For strengthening the immune system of the body, crepe myrtle trees are given to the patient.
- Crepe myrtle trees can also be beneficial in the treatment of cancer.
- In the ancient world, the practitioners used the leaf of crepe myrtle trees in making several medicines.
- The wood of this tree can be used commercially as timber. It is because it produces hardwood that can be considered to make various furniture, chairs, etc.
- During the wedding season and in some events, the flowers of the crepe myrtle tree are used for decoration purposes.
- If any patient is suffering from kidney stones, the stew or stem of the crepe myrtle tree can be helpful in removing those stones.
- The crepe myrtle tree has some skin-radiating properties. The ladies of the ancient era used the paste of the crepe myrtle stem to get an instant glow.
- This tree can also cure various other skin conditions as well.
- The crepe myrtle tree is widely used as an ornamental plant during weddings.
How to Care For Crepe Myrtle Tree?
Replenish your crepe myrtle once a year in the springtime, right after the leaves emerge, with a high-nitrogen or public fertilizer. Crepe myrtles generate a lot of branches and develop in lovely shrubby vase forms. You shouldn’t trim your crepe myrtle until it appears uneven or otherwise out of place. Leaf spot fungus, which is more frequent in the Deep South, is among the most widespread diseases that damage crepe myrtles. When the temperature is hot and damp, these brown blotches appear on the leaves, causing them to fall. Sprays containing thiophanate-methyl can be used to treat this. Powdery mildew is another issue that occurs more frequently in humid settings. This will not hurt crepe myrtles, but it does alter their beauty, so use a natural milk spray mixed through one part full milk to 9 parts water and sprinkled on after rain to treat it.
How to Prune Crepe Trees?
There are various ideologies on how to prune a crepe myrtle, but one thing to understand is that it will grow a beautiful form and flower profusely without even any pruning. However, there are situations when you may want to prune:
- To foster the desired form, prune a smaller plant.
- To keep the plant neat, remove wasted flowers after they have finished blooming.
- However, be mindful that this may result in a bigger number of lesser flower heads the following flowering season.
Crepe myrtle trees can be wonderful to grow if you maintain all the growing tips carefully. These trees will not only produce beautiful flowers but they can also be beneficial for various other reasons too.