Lagerstroemia 'TUSKEGEE'

Lagerstroemia
Lagerstroemia 'TUSKEGEE'
crepe myrtle
SIZE/TYPE taller shrub
USUAL HEIGHT 2-3.5m
USUAL WIDTH 2-3m
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES green
FLOWERS showy
COLOUR OF FLOWERS deep pink
BLOOMING TIME August - September
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
Exotics
Summer blooms
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Crepe 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.

Tuskegee is among the first crepe myrtle hybrids ever crossed in the effort to gain a hardier variety. It makes large panicles 15-20 cm long of rich pin-red, crepe flowers with yellow anthers from August until September. Deciduous leaves are elliptic to obovate, very glossy, they emerge with burgundy red hues, mature to rich green, and turn predominantly red in autumn. Leaves are resistant to powdery mildew.
Tuskegee grows fast into an open canopy with horizontal branches with age.

Pruning is important in colder zones and will bring more flowers. If you require a shrub bushy from the ground cut back last year's growth to about a third of its original size every year. Do so in spring after danger of major frosts. Since crepe myrtles can make a fantastic pattern after its old bark has peeled off, many gardeners train it into a small multistemmed tree. Select 2-4 strongest branches and remove all laterals from them, leaving the tops unpruned. Only when the plant reaches the height when your desired crown should start, which may take several years, prune lightly, and cut a little more each year until you develop a dense canopy.

Crepe myrtles need little care. They need full sun with zero shade during the day. Grow them in well-drained soil that should be kept moist before it gets fully established. If cultivated in acid soil the plant will make fabulous colour play of autumn foliage. Crape myrtle needs heavy mulching in winter and some mulch in summer to retain moisture. Fertilize in spring to encourage growth (nitrogen-based fertilizers), and in summer to encourage flowering (phosphorus-based fertilizers). It is top hardy to about -23°C and root hardy to about -25°C (USDA zone 6).

Last update: 25-01-2019
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Lagerstroemia
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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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