Crape Myrtle Natchez

Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’

Crepe Myrtles are common in Roseville, which is not surprising as people love the flowers in the summer on this small tree. Most Crape Myrtles are small and slow growing with pink or purple flowers. Natchez has white flowers and grows at moderate speed into an attractive, small, spreading tree. The white flowers add a cool-looking accent in the summer and and contrast with the dark green leaves. This Crape Myrtle has smooth bark that is a mix of cinnamon color and pale tan. The leaves color attractively in the fall.

This Crape Myrtle prefers low or medium irrigation and well drained soil. It rarely causes problems between its roots and nearby paving. When choosing a location for a Crape Myrtle, be sure to give it the room it needs to grow to its full size without encroaching on neighboring trees. Not only will it bloom best that way, it will reduce the chance of it getting powdery mildew from poor air circulation. Powdery Mildew is a fungal leaf infection that detracts from growth and looks unattractive. A healthy, vigorous tree in full sun will help avoid it.

It is not necessary to top Crape Myrtle, they grow nicely without it and will get taller faster if you do not perform Crape Murder! Just prune as you would any tree, reducing competing branches, improving the shape, etc. If the small seed capsules that remain on the tree in winter offend you, just snip them off, cutting larger branches opens unnecessary wounds and causes ugly regrowth.

Aphids enjoy Crape Myrtle trees and announce their presence with a sticky coating on the leaves and branches and whatever else is under the tree. Reduce this problem by not planting a Crape Myrtle in your landscape if there are many in the neighborhood. Adding another suscpetible tree is just like putting out a “free candy” signs to aphids. If you already have a Crape Myrtle that gets aphids, you can try washing off the foliage with a strong blast of water. Also avoiding fertilizer can really help. Fertilizer, especially with with high nitrogen content,  encourages succulent foliage that attracts aphids. Research shows that trees and shrubs do not grow better with fertilizer than without. So don’t fertilize your Crape myrtle and avoid pesky pests.

Description
Height: 20-25 feet
Spread: 20-25 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate

Irrigation needed: low or medium
Fall Color: orange to red
Flowers: white, ruffled flowers
Seeds/Fruit: 1/2″ brown capsules that stay on the tree

Planting Distances
Foundation: 6 feet
Drives/Patios: 3 feet
Fence: 3 feet
OK to grow under high-voltage power lines