Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Lagerstroemia indica

Common Name
Crape Myrtle
CA Native
Plant Type
6' - 12' x 15'
Flower Color
Pink, Purple, Red, White
Bloom Time
  • Summer
Deep Glossy Green
Deer Resistant
Seldom Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Attracts Beneficial Insects
  • Bees
  • Bird Habitat
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Not Particular
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Crape myrtle is one of the toughest, most adaptable and showiest plants that we have in the Bay area. It can be grown as a shrub or tree. Either way it has 6 -12inch long clusters of flowers and a highly ornamental trunk that exfoliates when young to reveal a smooth, lightly mottled look. It thrives on heat and can be used as a specimen or  potted plant, against walls or fences, as a screen or informal hedge.

Plant slightly above grade in a sunny location. Do not disturb the rootball. Fertlize with a slow release fertilizer. Water well and mulch in a 2 -3 food circle around plant. Do not overfertilize as this tends to produce lush foliage at the expense of flowers. Water deeply once a month when established. Do not water leaves as this plant is susceptible to powdery mildew and leaf spot. Foliage may turn yellow if the soil is too alkaline. Prune in late winter. New growth can be pinched at tip to increase branching and flower numbers. Removal of seed pods cause a second flush of flowers.

Susceptible to powdery mildew and fungal leaf spot. Aphids may also infect new growth and cause sooty mold. New varieties are available that are resistant to powdery mildew.

Master Gardener Comments

L. indica 'Dynamite' - mildew resistant with flowers are a true red

L. indica 'Bashams Party Pink' - mildew resistant with flowers are pink-lavender

L. indica Arapaho'  - mildew resistant with flowers are dark red

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