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Lagerstroemia indica (Crape or Crepe Myrtle)

Is it a tree or is it a giant shrub? Is it Crape or is it Crepe? Yes it’s one of those. Whatever it is, it’s lovely but if you don’t live in the South of England read no further.

This deciduous Myrtle type of tree originates in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It’s common there but not common here and although it does flower there don’t expect them to flower here unless you get a stonkingly hot summer. Flower colour? We’re not telling you because you may never see them. They can flower on juvenal trees though so you never know. They have lovely bark and go a good colour in autumn.

It can grow to 20-30ft (6-9m). Put it in the sunniest part of your (South of England) garden and preferably against a south facing wall.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.


Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Red

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Hardy in Atlantic Seaboard gardens, The Channel Islands, gardens in Central London (and other large cities) and conservatories.

This is only meant as a guide; there are some plants with red labels that would only survive in extremely favoured spots such as The Isles of Scilly or coastal south-west Ireland.

We're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.

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