Red Crape Myrtle Shrub (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Rubra’)
Red Crape Myrtle Shrub
Splash out with a colorful addition to your summer landscape. The Red Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Rubra’) is a widely adapted deciduous plant that provides brilliant color in your yard. Red Crape Myrtles will dazzle you with their amazing structure and clusters of crimson-red flowers that appear as fiery plumes at the tips of their branches all summer long from July to September.
The blooms attract pollinators galore and even a few Hummingbirds! These large shrubs are actually sometimes referred to as Crepe Myrtles because the texture of the robust flower heads looks like crinkled crepe paper!
In the springtime, Red Myrtles leaf out with small glossy green leaves that then transition into a verdant green that endures throughout the summer months. However, as the vivid red blossoms set, the foliage is lost under the beautiful heavy display of red blooms!
When fall arrives, its leaves transform into brilliant reds yellows, and shades of orange for a gorgeous display. Finally, after the leaves drop, the trunk’s clean, sturdy appearance visually carries these through the winter. Smooth, tan-gray bark really adds to the year-round appeal of the Red Crape Myrtle.
Crape Myrtles are known for a wide range of colors and sizes. But did you know that the Red Crape Myrtles are by far the most popular? People across the country in Zones 6 – 10 just love the bright blooms of this variety!
You’ll also be able to grow it as a single-trunk patio tree or as a multi-trunk accent feature specimen. You can even leave the lower branches on to encourage a solid, shrubby screen. It will look great any way you care to use it. Red Crape Myrtles can be pruned to any size, so they work in any lot size in almost any location.
Really, it’s impossible to go wrong with this variety. Use one as a standout for a prime focal point in the yard. Or, plant several as privacy hedges, or massed together along the fence as an amazing background splash of color.
Plant in groupings of 3, 5, or 7 shrubs in a curved bed to create a marvelous privacy screen for your deck or patio. You’ll love the way it lavishly brightens up your events and backyard barbeques! Growing into naturally rounded forms, or pruned smaller as needed – these are highly versatile!
Red Crape Myrtles are approved by many cities and municipalities for parking lots and planting strips, where they adapt to the harshness of the city environments. This means it will work for you in your yard!
The low maintenance makes them an ideal choice for a container plant. Simply plant in a large decorative container with plenty of drainage holes. Use a standard potting mix and water regularly to enjoy the beauty of the Red Crape Myrtle. Place the containers strategically to block the afternoon sun and shield your party from neighbors or unsightly views. Easy-peasy high style!
The wonderful red blooms would contrast deliciously against an indigo-blue glazed ceramic container. Try crisp white Chippendale-style or cast iron containers as a perfect foil to allow the shrub to take center stage. Or try a sophisticated tonal combination of natural terra cotta with this variety. Northern growers can grow these as annual accents or seasonal container plants and overwinter them in protected, unheated garages or sheds.
Red Crape Myrtles tolerate a wide range of soils, from heavy clay to loam, as long as the drainage is good. It’s critical to choose a location with well-drained soil, or you’ll need to plan to amend with soil conditioners. Plant them in full sun with at least 8 hours of direct sunlight. Always select a planting location that favors early morning sun, as this will help to quickly dry the leaves off from any overnight dew.
Provide regular moisture for new plants, but once established Red Crape Myrtle is a top choice where responsible water use is a concern, as it will become drought tolerant once it’s established in your yard. You’ll see these quite often in drier climates as medium strip hedges because of their moderate height and low maintenance needs. Top the soil with a 3-4 inch thick layer of mulch to provide shade to the root systems. You’ll cut down on soil moisture evaporation and extend the periods between watering.
Blooming on new wood, prune to shape in early spring to remove crossing branches and control size. Remove the oldest wood at ground level periodically when renewal pruning every 3-5 years. Deadhead any spent flower clusters as they fade to encourage more blooms during the active growing season. Apply a slow-release fertilizer in early spring and again in the mid-summer. We recommend Dr. Earth Organic and Natural Premium Fertilizer.
The Red Crape Myrtle has something to offer whatever the season, and it will certainly offer you enjoyment for years to come.
|Common name||Red Crape Myrtle Shrub|
|Botanical name||Lagerstroemia indica 'Rubra'|
|Height||8 - 16 ft.|
|Width||6 - 8 ft.|
|Soil condition||Widely Adaptable|
|Pruning time||Early Spring|