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Crape myrtles are one of the most commonly planted trees throughout the Inland Empire in both residential gardens and public landscapes. It's popularity stems from the many flower colors and relative small size for urban trees. Horticultural interest in this genus has resulted in a vast range of cultivars; it is best to check with local nurseries to make the best choice for home and garden. Many new cultivars are fast growing and resistant to mildew and grow 20-30 ft. tall. They can be purchased as multi-trunk or single trunk trees. All have large 3-4 in. long leaves, dense flower panicles, colorful brown, cream and gray bark and offer a variety of flower colors in the summer. Most trees produce vivid yellow to orange to red fall color with cool temperatures. They grow best when planted in full sun, in loamy soils and with moderate summer water.

The image gallery shows several Crape myrtle flower colors, including: white flowering L. x 'Natchez', deep pink flowering L. x 'Tuscarora', and light pink flowering L. x 'Biloxi'.

Water Needs

Crape myrtles grown in the Inland Empire can be sustained with normal winter rainfall and regular amounts of summer water. Deep watering is recommended from spring through fall in order to sustain the best flowering performance and help maintain good foliage character. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water depending upon exposure conditions and size.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 4

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 17"-24"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Tree
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous
Habit: Upright, Multi-trunk, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Slow, Moderate
Height: 6 ft. - 30 ft.
Width: 10 ft. - 30 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Foliage Color: Medium green, Yellow, Seasonal yellow, Seasonal red, Seasonal orange
Flower Color: Red, Pink, White, Lavender, Magenta
Flower Season: Summer
Soil Adaptations: Loam, Deep soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Heat, Frost, Aridity, All day sun, Partial sun
Function: Specimen, Parks and open space, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Civic spaces, Small spaces


Choose to plant newer, powdery mildew resistant varieties (S). Plan to prune when young as needed to establish good long-term structure. Crape Myrtles can be pruned as either a single or multi-trunk tree, but is normally seen as a single trunk tree in Southern California. This tree will send up shoots, called suckers, abundantly from both the base of the tree and fewer growing up out of the root system further away from the trunk. Prune both of these out, as soon as they are noticed, any time of the year (D).



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