Enduring Summer Crape Myrtle

$29

Description

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Months of blooms on a space saving shrub

The Enduring Summer Crape Myrtle is a compact flowering shrub that only grows to about 4 to 5 feet tall, so it can fit anywhere. This versatile crape myrtle also thrives in containers and can be kept on the porch, or patio to add a burst of hot color to the space. They’re popular for framing entryways and for lining steps.

Enduring Summer Crape Myrtles may be small in size, but their color is huge. They have clusters of vibrant red blooms that last from the summer all the way into the fall for at least four months of breath taking flowers.

Put your pruners away, because this low maintenance crape myrtle variety naturally has a rounded shape. When planted in rows they will fill in on their own to create an even living hedge that’s perfect for border rows and even provides privacy without the need for constant trimming.

The Enduring Summer Crape Myrtle earned its title for being nearly impossible to kill. With an extremely high drought tolerance and heat resistance it endures everything that hot and dry summers have to throw at it.

Also, this crape myrtle is humidity tolerant and resists molds and mildews that harm other trees in humid conditions. The Enduring Summer Crape Myrtle is an excellent choice for urban city areas because it’s smog and pollution tolerant. 

Planting & Care

The Enduring Summer Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia ‘Enduring Summer’) is a small shrub reaching a mature height and width of 4-5 feet. Its small stature is perfect for potting and framing an entryway or creating a border in your garden. The scarlet red blooms last throughout the summer months and into the fall so you get several months of beautiful color. If you’re in USDA growing zones 6-9, plant this shrub in the ground or grow it in a container if you’re in colder zones 4-5. Either way, this shrub is low maintenance, extremely drought tolerant and resistant to heat and humidity.

Choosing a location: Crapes are FULL SUN lovers so try and find a spot where they will get as much sun as possible. Without the proper exposure your blooming will be substantially reduced or it may not bloom at all. The Enduring Summer is very adaptable to many soil types so just be sure that the area you’re looking to plant has adequate drainage when watering.

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Planting directions:
1) After you have found your planting area, make your hole twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep.
2) Carefully remove the myrtle’s root ball from the container. Lightly tapping the container around the bottom will help free it up without causing too much damage to the root system.
3) Lightly comb your hands over the root ball to free up the roots a bit before planting.
4) Place it into the hole and make sure that the root crown (where the root ball meets the trunk(s) of the tree) is level with the soil surface. Crapes need to be able to pull oxygen into their root systems so covering them too much may inhibit their growth.
5) Tamp down the soil lightly as you backfill the hole to prevent air pockets from forming and then water after you’ve finished to settle the soil.
6) Mulch the area around the tree to conserve water moisture and deter competing weeds and grasses from growing.

Watering: Myrtles are quite drought tolerant but while establishing, may need a bit more attention with watering during the hot summer season. Depending on your soil, there may need to be more frequent waterings, especially those with very sandy soils. After planting, water regularly to start. If the climate is hot you may need to water up to five times weekly especially in lighter soils. During the cooler seasons you’ll only need to water once weekly. Proper soil moisture is important in the hot season so that you’ll have a healthier tree and better looking blooms.

Pruning: Crape pruning is always a “mixed bag” if asking anyone when and how to prune. “Crape murder” is a common term heard with those who go far beyond what is necessary when trimming their myrtles. Prune in the late winter before any of the growth begins. If done in the late fall you will jeopardize the dormant state which can lead to the crape dying. Sterilize your cutting tools with rubbing alcohol to ensure no pathogens infect the crape and always make your cuts at a 45 degree angle.

Some prefer to chop off all of the branches at a uniformed height every year leaving the stubs for the winter season that form a ball of growth in the springtime. This is good for height control and a uniformed border but can commonly result in knobby stems and bunchy growths that are easily susceptible to disease and aphid pests. This is where the term “crape murder” comes into play. Only a light pruning of the myrtle is needed to encourage plenty of blooms but “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” when it comes to choosing the shape of your crapes.

For a more graceful shape, remove all but 4-5 strong trunks and then remove the lateral branches around the bottom ½ of the crape. To encourage branching, make your cuts on the longer, leggy limbs. Try not to over prune too early, do your basic pruning then allow it to grow a bit and then continue shaping over time. Remove any damaged, diseased, or crossing branches during the late winter. Also be sure to remove any suckers or low growths to prevent your crape from looking more shrub-like.

Fertilizing: Your Enduring Summer Crape will greatly benefit from a light application of a complete, balanced, slow release fertilizer formula in the early spring and summer seasons. Slow release fertilizer will cut back on sucker growths but be aware, excessive fertilizing can lead to limb growth but will inhibit the blooms from forming due to excess amounts of nitrogen.

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