Year in, year out, nothing beats Crape Myrtles

We have an abandoned home directly across the street from our house and it has been that way for a least 15 years. There is a light pink Near East Crape Myrtle in full bloom and two standard white crape myrtles, also loaded with blooms, that exist on nothing more than natural rainfall – no fertilizer, insecticide, sprinkler system, pruning – nothing! They look great, and that’s just cool.

Crape myrtles can be used in so many situations now that it’s almost unbelievable, and the color and variety choices are huge. For instance, the Rosy Carpet Crape Myrtle, with its hot pink blooms, grows to only 8 to 12 inches tall with a four-foot spread, making it a great groundcover or hanging basket. Tightwad is just that: a three-by-three-foot tight and round, dark blood-red ball. Pocomoke is another small one, reaching a mature size of four to five feet tall and wide, with dark pink flowers and round, tight foliage.

You say you want a crape myrtle tree that is not as tall as the regular types? Choose Siren Red (dark red), Zuni (dark lavender purple), or White Chocolate (pure white with burgundy foliage) which each achieve just eight to 10 foot growth. For those who love the standard size tree form crape myrtles that reach 15 to 18 feet in height, try true red Dynamite or

Blue Ribbon News special contributor Joe Covington of Covington's Nursery shares expert tips on planting, landscaping and gardening.

Red Rocket. White blooming Natchezhas dark cinnamon brown bark and grows more quickly to 25 feet.

There are also a number of five to seven foot crapes that can be used as a bush or tree-form. They include Early Bird white or purple; Petite Plum, Petite Pinkie or Petite Red Imp; and Velma’s Royal Delight in magenta purple. A few of the mounding weepers (two to four feet) are New Orleans, Cherry Dazzle, White Delight, Baton Rouge, Sacramento, Orlando…. and there are still others that I’m not thinking of!

You simply need at least five or six hours of sun; willingness to dig a hole; compost and expanded shale mixed with the native soil; regular watering in the summer heat (especially during the first year); and a desire to enjoy the most consistently beautiful tree or shrub that Texas has to offer!  They’re laughing at this hot summer!

This article written by Blue Ribbon News special contributor Joe Covington, owner of Covington’s Nursery & Landscape Co. at 5518 Liberty Grove, Rowlett. Discover more at covingtonnursery.com.

 To submit your news, events or a guest column on your area of expertise, email editor@BlueRibbonNews.com.

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