Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit IV' RED ROCKET®

Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit IV'
Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit IV' RED ROCKET®
crepe myrtle
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
USUAL HEIGHT 1.5-3m
USUAL WIDTH 1-1.5m
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES +multicoloured:green a burgundy red
FLOWERS showy
COLOUR OF FLOWERS red
BLOOMING TIME August - October
LOCATION full sun
USDA zone (lowest) 6   (down to -23°C)
WINTER PROTECTION  
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
Summer blooms
Exotics
náhled foto
Crape myrtle is a flowering shrub or small tree from China. It was first introduced to the USA and the UK in the 18th century. The original plant lagerstroemia indica is too tender and not too pretty so breeders were working on further hybridization and the most attractive varieties available now are believed to be results of crossing with l.speciosa and l.fauriei. Far more important news for us is the fact that among those finished plants were selected others that survived lower temperatures than what was common in the areas of natural habitat so we have a few myrtles that can grow even in our climate. Some were selections, other further hybrids.

RED ROCKET® along with DYNAMITE® are possibly the reddest crepe myrtle varieties known to trade so far. It produces large (30x20 cm), upright panicles of the richest red shade you may have seen. Flowering begins in late July or early August and continues till the last sunny and warm days of autumn because thanks to minimum seed production new panicles with flower buds appear quickly after the first phase has gone.

The deciduous leaves are leathery, oval, crimson red when they emerge, and turn deep green soon after. In acid soil they gain fantastic fiery red and orange shades in autumn.
When they fall down older plants reveal flaking-off bark, similar to what plane trees or stewartias do, leaving a mosaic pattern on the smooth trunks.

RED ROCKET® was selected from over 65,000 seedlings by Carl E.Whitcomb from Oklahoma, USA, and patented in 2000 under the name Whit IV, patent No. PP11,342. The achievement was gained thanks to EMS (ethylmethane sulfonic acid methyl ester) which is a substance known for causing mutation when seeds are treated with it.

Crape myrtles need little care. They need full sun with zero shade during the day. Pruning will secure fresh growth and good flowering: cut back last year's growth to about a third of its original size. Do so in spring after danger of all frosts. The plant will make strong news shoots that will bear flowers. Grow it in well-drained soil that should be kept moist before it gets fully established. The soil should be very well-drained and fertile. It needs heavy mulching in winter and some mulch in summer to retain moisture. Overfertilizing will cause excessive growth but no flowers. Above ground wood is hardy to about -23°C (USDA zone 6), and roots and near ground woody structure withstands -26°C.

Last update: 26-07-2018
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Lagerstroemia indica
GLOSSARY
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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