Hopi Crape Myrtle




Long Lasting Color On A Space Saving Tree

The Hopi Crape Myrtle can be referred to as the ‘winter hardy’ crape because it’s cold tolerant to growing zone six. It can handle large amounts of snow, ice and freezing temperatures that other crape varieties cant.

Hopi Crape Myrtles grace the landscape with large clusters of light pink blooms that last for an entire four months, from June until September. When other flowering trees have dropped their blooms your Hopi Crape Myrtle will continue to produce more and more vibrant blossoms.

The Hopi Crape Myrtle has a rounded canopy that’s filled with lush, dark green leaves that serve as a backdrop for the pink flowers to pop against. This allows the flowers to shine even brighter in the landscape while attracting tons of attention.

Even more color comes in the fall once the Hopi Crape Myrtle’s leaves turn bright shades of red, yellow and orange. The fiery color stands out by being more vivid and brighter than the competition.

Winter is also a colorful season with the Hopi Crape Myrtle because they have multiple trunks with peeling bark with a gorgeous grey hue. The grey bark fades away to reveal younger bright cinnamon colored bark underneath that warms the landscape.

Hopi Crape Myrtles are the perfect choice for those looking for tons of color on a smaller tree that won’t take over the landscape. While other Crape Myrtle varieties reach heights of 30 feet or more the Hopi Crape Myrtle tops out at only 10 feet. 

The Hopi Crape Myrtle’s compact size allows it to be planted anywhere. It’s perfect for planting in tight spaces close to structures like by the driveway or sidewalk and under power lines.

Best of all, Hopi Crape Myrtles are excellent choices for container growing. Their space saving stature allows them to thrive in pots. They look great in pots framing entryways and accenting porches.

By being cold hardy, drought resistant and heat tolerant, as well as pest and disease resistant nothing stops the Hopi Crape Myrtle from blooming for months.


Planting & Care

The Hopi Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Hopi’) is a dwarf/semi-dwarf crape that matures to a height/width of anywhere between 4-10 feet tall. This compact maturity is great for smaller areas you’re looking to fill in with some more color. It’s one of the more cold tolerant crapes since it can be grown in USDA growing zones 6-9 whereas normal crapes will not typically grow well in any zone lower than 7. It’s a moderately fast grower pushing out a 1-2 feet of growth each year and will bloom a decorative light pink color providing they’re are in a full sun location. These are also one of the few crapes you can keep potted if looking to maintain its dwarf height.

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 Hopi is very adaptable to many soil types so just be sure that the area you’re looking to plant has adequate drainage when watering.

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 your tree in 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 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 tree’s dormancy state which can lead to the tree dying. Sterilize your cutting tools with rubbing alcohol to ensure no pathogens infect the tree 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 tree shape, remove all but 4-5 strong trunks and then remove the lateral branches around the bottom ½ of the tree. To encourage branching, make your cuts on the longer, leggy limbs. Try not to over prune too early, do your basic pruning then allow the tree 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 Hopi Crape will greatly benefit from an annual feeding of a high nitrogen fertilizer such as a 20-10-10 slow release formula in the early spring season. If you care to fertilize twice, feed the tree again roughly two months later. Slow release fertilizer will cut back on sucker growths but be aware, excessive fertilizing can lead to tree and limb growth but will inhibit the blooms from forming due to excess amounts of nitrogen.



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