Razzle Dazzle Variety of Dwarf Crape Myrtle NOT Blooming!?

summerstar(Z7VA)April 11, 2012

I decided to plant two dwarf crape myrtles in a couple of weeks in a new perennial border. I wanted to find out more about the Razzle Dazzle variety, so I ran an internet search. That's where I found posts from some gardeners who said their plants never bloomed. That's risky business. Shoot, I'll search for another shrub if ALL dwarf crape myrtles tend NOT to bloom! The last posting about this that I found was on this website in April of 2011.

Have any of you had this problem with Razzle Dazzle crapes?

To you long-time gardeners, the Razzle Dazzle variety was hybridized by the renowned horticulturist Michael Dirr at the University of GA which makes their poor performance almost unbelievable.

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My Ruby Dazzle has never bloomed but I like it anyway for the foliage. Another one that didn't bloom was the white blooming selection - forget what it was called. The pink and red ones bloom year after year.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 2:04PM
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This is Andy, I work for a grower of the Razzle Dazzle dwarf crapemyrtles. I wanted to offer some info that you might find helpful with these.

Dr. Dirr did develop these and the breeding work has been pretty extensive. Several improvements have been made and with those, a couple of the original releases that do not bloom as well have been dropped. Snow Dazzle and Raspberry Dazzle have both been dropped in favor of much better performers. I would suggest if you are looking for a good white - Diamond Dazzle will be very reliable for you. And for a strong pink, I would plant either Strawberry Dazzle or Sweetheart Dazzle - both of which are reliable bloomers year after year and bloom earlier than some of the older selections.

My top picks: Berry Dazzle (more upright, earliest to bloom), Diamond Dazzle (strong white), Cherry Dazzle (the original selection and strong bloomer though blooms later in the summer than many of the others), and Strawberry Dazzle.

As for Ruby Dazzle - it was selected not for its flower, but for its foliage. It is a great alternative to Barberry adding strong burgandy foliage without thorns to any garden. It will sport a pink flower every now and then, but that was not the appeal, rather its almost pancake habit and strong dark foliage.

Hope that helps a little.

Happy Gardening


    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:56PM
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gumneck 7A Virginia

I have a couple of Cherry Dazzle and both bloom decently. I've had them for a couple of years at least since photos show blooms in 2010 and 2011. They are definitely dwarf.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Hey Gumneck: Thanks for posting the very nice photos. I notice you're in the same zone I'm in. I noticed the post from the fellow who works for the dwarf crape myrtle grower and will look for his suggestions at my local nursery.

I grow the 8-10 foot watermelon red Tonto crape myrtle that is very showy. For the first time last summer, it seemed to have less flowers than the year before. I was advised to thin them and cut off the old flowers when April comes around. I did and we'll see what happens.

I know that crape myrtles grow in thicker from pruning in late April. It will make your Cherry Dazzle fuller. Happy Gardening

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 4:23PM
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I have the Tonto red one. It has definitely not liked our fluctuating weather this spring? Yellow leaves now and it was not this way last year. Looks very sick, and I don't know what to do for it. It's possible I have it in too much shade. The other one I have is purple and I have it in a much sunnier place.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:26AM
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How long have you have your Tonto shrub? How much shade does it get? I have three of the Tonto variety and they're a very strong variety, recommended, and well thought of in the nursery trade. Most crape myrtles don't do well in shade. If it's still fairly small, move it into a sunny location. It will be worth your efforts.

And . . . I LOVE purple crapes. But what's the name of your purple?? I'm looking for a deep purple. Thanks for posting back.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 4:22PM
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Andy - If you're still around, I'm curious about something. Your top picks are not all on your good bloomer list, so what is it that makes it your top pick? Is it the color of the blooms? The shape of the shrub? I'm really happy to find your post. I've heard the complaints about them not being good bloomers, so I will definitely try one of the ones from your list.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 7:07PM
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gumneck 7A Virginia

Here's an updated photo of Cherry Dazzle. I pruned and thinned as suggested around April. It's gotten a little bigger. I probably could have pruned a little more to give it a more balanced look in the center.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Andy, If you're still out there, do you have anywhere in mind where I can purchase a Dwarf Razzle Dazzle in California? My local area nursery's do not carry the plant. I live in the central coast area.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 6:07PM
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I have had about a dozen Dazzle Me Pink Crapemyrtles in my Oklahoma garden for the past 4 or 5 years. They are not in an ideal location (only about 2 hours of sun daily), but even so, they have bloomed well for me. One thing I have learned about these particular dwarf crapes is that they do not perform well unless I give them LOTS of water and fertilizer throughout the growing season (unlike my 20 or so standard crapes, which get fertilized twice a year and watered only when it is really hot and dry). I use both timed-release and (weekly) liquid fertilizer applied with the hose, and the more I give them, the better they bloom. I am a long-time gardener, and I have never grown anything that requires as much fertilizer as these dwarf crapes. That said, I just love them and they are definitely worth the extra time and effort. One caution: These crapes did take a couple of years to get established and start blooming. But that might have changed if I had known from the beginning what heavy feeders they are.

Dazzle Me Pink has stayed very small (not over about 14 inches tall), probably because of not getting enough sun. But that's what I wanted anyway, so I'm happy. They are nice, compact shrubs and have absolutely no fungus problems. Can't say enough good things about them!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:09PM
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Just wanted to update this post. I bought 3 Razzle Dazzle last year. Berry bloomed last year shortly after I planted it and Cherry has just started blooming for the 1st time. I think the 3rd was Raspberry and it's not blooming and hasn't grown. I had another one for 2 or 3 years that never did anything. I can't remember for sure, but I think it was Ruby. Anyone else having luck with them?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 3:43PM
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