Lagerstroemia indica (Red Rocket Crape Myrtle)

EmundFebruary 8, 2013

Hello. I'm a long-time reader, but new poster--and in need of some good advice.

In our upward slopping, south facing backyard, we have a modestly moist section from a small natural spring. From my research and desire to plant a flowering tree that doesn't get too tall, I'm interested in the Red Rocket Crape Myrtle. I know that most crape myrtles need hardiness zone 7 or higher. However, I've read that the red rocket was engineered to handle zone 6--we are in zone 6a in Southeast Michigan. BUT, there are a couple of websites that say zone 7 for this tree. Can anyone please provide me with your insights and/or experience with this tree in zone 6. Thanks!

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It'll die back to the ground but resprout in the spring (possible early summer). Crape myrtles don't begin to leaf out until temperatures at night are in the upper 60s and 70s. The question is, will the tree have time to grow back to where its significant enough to take the time for before the next frost kills it to the ground again? I'd recommend growing one in a large pot and brining it in during winter. Heading off the leader so it does not grow too large to bring in.

I've heard stories of them growing in NYC, so microclimates are important. The retained heat from the city concrete allows then to survive winter.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:45PM
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Climate zones notwithstanding, crape myrtles don't like their feet wet. You want a tree that is adapted to that much water.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:46PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If damp Magnolia virginiana is an obvious choice, if climate and soil (it does not like alkaline) otherwise suitable.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 4:40PM
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