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Useful information for cultivation

Lagerstroemia is found in the form of small trees or large deciduous shrubs, with peeling bark highlighting the very decorative two-tone glabrous wood, especially in winter when the plant is bare.

The leaves generally measure 2-7 cm and are elliptical in shape, of a more or less intense green colour.

In autumn they are colored purple red with the exception of the white-flowered varieties.

Lagerstroemia flowers are collected in very dense terminal racemes, 10-20 cm long, which ensure spectacular flowering that lasts all summer.

They are plants that grow well in all the lowland areas of our peninsula, but the most abundant blooms occur in regions with hot summers and a fairly humid atmosphere. Requires fertile, loose, well-drained soil.

It tolerates the pollution of our city centers quite well, where it is often used in the form of a small tree. Isolated or in groups they can be inserted into all gardens of any size.

They flower on the year's wood and therefore must be pruned short, in the second fortnight of February and not before.


Planting and cultivation

  • Planting and soil cultivation: Fertile soils are obviously the best, however CrapeMyrtles adapts to other types of soil as far as they are not arid or clayey. During summer, the plant requires a weekly, abundant watering, thus a drip irrigation system is advisable

  • Planting: On the market, are only available CrapeMyrtles in pots, although it is possible to achieve good results cultivating cuttings in soil. Independently from the climatic area, the planting must always be carried out during springtime (from April to June), never during the winter months. It is essential to plant the bushes in the soil, in rows distant enough to ensure that the plants receive enough air and light. On the contrary, in order to produce a tall or medium-height plant, it is essential to set the rows at short distance, forcing the CrapeMyrtle to develop in height, while searching for light.

  • Fertilizing: During the winter months, fertilize with manure only once. During spring time fertilize with nitrogen-based fertilizers and, when foliage begins, add potassium and phosphor fertilizer. Never stop fertilizing, including when the plant is fully grown.

  • Climate and exposure: Crapemyrtle loves the sun. Ensure it is well exposed, or its flowering will be scarce and the plant will be probably attacked by oidium (see: diseases). It lives well throughout the Mediterranean region and in general in all temperate climates. Crapemyrtle resents the cold, although some varieties are more resistant than others.

  • Propping: : In small trees cultivation and for medium height plants, use a post prop, in order to reach the desired circumference. The bushes do not require this technique.

  • Roots: Unlike many other garden plants, the roots of Crapemyrtles offer the advantage of not damaging old walls or footpaths. In fact, its roots system is not much expandend, even when the plant is fully grown.

  • Reproduction: The plant reproduces by cuttings, generally carried out by specialized firms. Good results are also obtained planting the cuttings in soil during the first half of April.


  • It is important to give a tidy shape to the plant and to improve the growth of foliage. Pruning must be carried out every year in the garden, during the second half of February. If the Crapemyrtle is in the nursery, and in order to achieve an improved growth of the plant, it is advisable to prune it only every other year, in the same period.


Diseases and treatments

  • The lagerstroemia is a delicate, slender plant, yet it is reasonably resistant to diseases. Usually, it is affected by two different pathologies: aphids and oidium. Providing the season progresses evenly, both diseases can be overcome with three, yearly treatments.

  • Aphids: (Commonly known as “lice”). During the spring-to-summer period, check frequently the lower part of the leaves; once you detect the lice, act immediately:
    - In the nursery: use specific anti-aphids products; the first treatment must be carried out using a cycle-destroying product, for the other treatments use pest-destroying products.
    - In the garden: you can easily find specific and efficient anti-aphids products in any agricultural shop.

  • Oidium: (Commonly called the “sulphur disease”). You can easily ensure if the plant is affected by this disease by checking the new buds frequently: if you see a thin, whitish film, it is the time to intervene:
    - In the nursery: in order to avoid wasting both time and money, it is advisable to mix every anti-aphids treatment with an anti-oidium product, thus preventing and/or curing both problems.
    - In the garden: products such as pure sulphur (to dust on the plant) or water-diluted sulphur (to sprinkle on the plant) are easy to find in any agricultural shop. The problem is solved.

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