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LAGERSTROEMIA crape/crepe myrtle

SheleenSheleen Posts: 51
I wonder if any southern UK residents have advice on growing Lagerstroemia? I have two large lilac trees in my garden, and much as I love them, this year the flowering season was barely 2 weeks long. I've tried ceonothus, but it grows too well in my garden and just becomes a bully, and yet it doesn't thrive in pots when I try to grow it there. So, after talking to some american cousins, I've set my heart on getting me some crepe myrtle... and I'd like to grow it in a pot. I've sourced a reasonable priced specimen... but would rather not waste my hopes and money if it won't thrive in my almost-south-facing small garden. Has anyone grown it and have any tips for me? 


  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    I'd never heard of crepe myrtle until we visited OH's nephew in LA, where it's in almost every garden, and yes, it is enviable.  I don't remember seeing it in a pot though, and I don't know if the growers have yet managed to produce one hardy enough for the UK.  

    Just done a quick google, turns out there are c.50 species, so one from the northern or southern limits of its range might by OK.  Do you have a conservatory? if it's heated in winter, that might be OK.

    One of the questions on google was "How do you get rid of crepe myrtle?" so it might be a case of "beware what you wish for"!
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    edited June 2019
    From what I read it would need to be in a greenhouse or conservatory over winter which might work when it's relatively small but it is a plant that gets very large, in fact a tree.

    Being in Southampton you might get away with it but i doubt it would be at its best. The choice is yours of course, you might get away with it due to global warming.   :/
  • NollieNollie Posts: 6,744
    I am not southern UK Sheleen, but my winter mountain climate is very similar, possibly colder? than yours, down to -8c, snow etc. I grow Lagerstroemia which survives the winter just fine outside in the ground in a sheltered spot. Some of the newer cultivars are hardier, I think. Mine is a ‘Black Solitaire’ but I have a feeling that is the breeder not the cultivar...
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • SheleenSheleen Posts: 51
    Nollie said:
    ... Mine is a ‘Black Solitaire’ but I have a feeling that is the breeder not the cultivar...

    Black Solitaire! Sounds divine!

    Thank you everyone - I have ordered a small plant, and haven't spent a fortune (less than £20 including a large pot). I'm quite excited now. My garden is a haphazard mess of flowers and weeds that have the unfortunate luck of growing in my garden - due to illness, my gardening philosophy is very much "if it wants to grow it will"... for over 14 years, I had tried grow poppies here, and after giving up and thinking it was just not meant to be, I suddenly have a few sprouting up over odd areas. I don't really plan what to plant - and am always seed-swapping with friends and searching online for great deals, so it's a bit of a surprise in some cases to see what grows lol.  I think that's why I'm excited about the crepe myrtle -  something I have seen, discussed, thought about and now ordered. Also, quite rare for me to have what I feel is something quite un-traditional for my garden :)

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    That's poppies for you.  The seeds can remain viable in the soil for a long time, but struggle to germinate in the dark.  When the soil is disturbed for any reason, they come to the surface and the light stimulates growth.  That's how come they carpeted the WWI battlefields.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 6,744
    Good luck with the Crape Myrtle - lovely plants! Mine has deep chocolate-purple leaves with deep pinky-purple flowers... and I have just remembered the cultivar name, its ‘Purely Purple’
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    You will have to keep us updated on how it fares in the UK. I know it wouldn't survive where I am. 
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