How to Grow Lagerstroemia - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Shrubs Category   /   2022

Lagerstroemia, commonly known as crape myrtle or crepe myrtle, is a genus of about 50 species of deciduous and evergreen trees native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, the Americas, and Oceania. The genus is named after the Swedish merchant Magnus von Lagerstrom. The leaves are variable in shape, but are generally broad and lobed. The flowers are showy, with four or five petals, and are borne in panicles or corymbs. The fruit is a woody, oblong-ellipsoid drupe.

How to Grow Lagerstroemia - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Lagerstroemia plant? Since this is a tropical plant, it requires a certain experience in taking care of it. Also, it demands a sufficient amount of light. The cool wintering is also necessary for this plant

Plant Size

How big can it be? known as the Queen's Crape myrtle or the Banabá tree, is a fast-growing deciduous shrub or small tree that blooms profusely with showy crepe-like flowers in summer and fall. The plant is native to tropical and subtropical areas of Asia and Australasia, where it is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. In many Asian countries, the plant is also known by the names pride-of-India, crape-myrtle, or myrtle.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? Unless it is constantly trimmed, the Lagerstroemia indica will quickly reach 10 m (about 33 feet) in height when grown in its natural habitat of India. When grown as a shrub in the home, it will only reach a height of 1 m (3-4 feet), but it grows quickly and will require frequent shaping (or trimming) to maintain its size. There are now compact varieties available which require less shaping.

Lagerstroemia Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Shrub
Family Lythraceae
Origin Another name for the plant is Indian lilac. However, the country of origin is China. The most widespread in indoor culture is the lustrestemia indica (Lagerstroemia indica) – in the photo, as well as L. blooming flowers (L. floribunda) and L. elegant (L.speciosa).

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? The Lagerstroemia genus contains about 50 species of flowering plants in the family Lythraceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. The genus is named after the Swedish merchant Magnus von Lagerström, who was a patron of botany. Most species are deciduous, but a few are evergreen. They are characterized by opposite, simple leaves and showy, crepe-like flowers. The flowers are usually bisexual and bird- or insect-pollinated. Lagerstroemia plants are long-lived, with some species living for over 100 years. The oldest recorded Lagerstroemia plant was a L. indica tree in India that was estimated to be over 250 years old. Lagerstroemia trees are relatively slow-growing, with a growth rate of about 1 foot (30 cm) per year.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? When the temperature is too high in summer, the leaves of the Lagerstroemia will fall off. In winter, the plant requires a cool content at a temperature of about 50-53.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It is advisable to place the plant on a warmed balcony, in the coolest place, can be darkened. In most cases, the plant partially or completely sheds the leaves for the winter. Lagerstroemia is cold-resistant and can withstand short-term exposure to 23 degrees Fahrenheit. After a warm winter, the flower looks weakened, its flowering will not be so abundant, or may, in general, be absent.

Humidity

What about the humidity? Because the plantneeds high humidity, it is necessary to regularly spray the leaves with water from a spray bottle. The procedure is best done in the morning or evening, when the sun's rays do not fall on the leaves. You can also put a container with water next to the plant.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? The Lagerstroemia requires bright light, with the ideal content being on the west or east window. If you place the plant at a distance of one meter from the southern window, it will be suitable for slightly shaded southern light. A lack of light will decrease the plant's flowering, and the shoots will begin to stretch.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Lagerstroemia? When planting Lagerstroemia in the open ground, it is desirable to choose a sunny area with well-drained, loose and fertile soil. The soil can be prepared in advance: mix in equal parts garden soil, humus and sand, you can add a little perlite. You can also use a ready-made soil mixture for deciduous trees and shrubs. For planting, it is better to choose a young plant no more than 3-4 years old. The root system of an adult tree is very large and it is difficult to transplant it.

Watering Time

How much I must water Lagerstroemia? Since the Lagerstroemia is a tropical plant, it needs a lot of water, especially during the summer. The soil should never be allowed to dry out, as the plant will drop its buds and flowers. It is also important not to over-water the plant, as this can be just as damaging, especially in heavy soils. Closer to autumn, the watering is reduced and the plant is moved to a cooler location. The leaves will turn red or yellow and may partially or completely fall off. Around the end of January, the plant will begin to wake up and will need to be moved closer to the light. At this time, it should only be watered occasionally. After watering, the plant should be kept in a warmer location for a day or so. Young, fragile plants should be left on the windowsill for the winter, moved closer to the glass, and kept at a temperature of about 59-64 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. The Lagerstroemia genus belongs to the loosestrife family and is represented by about 50 species of deciduous or evergreen shrubs. They are characterized by beautiful flowering. Lagerstroemia indica is the most popular indoor plant. The plant is fed with complex mineral fertilizer immediately after flowering. Top dressing is carried out every 2 weeks during the growing season. In the summer, you can use a special fertilizer for flowering plants.

Reproduction

How to reproduce Lagerstroemia? Since this plant easily semi-fattest cuttings, it is best to use these when trying to root this plant. To do this, one should use a mixture of peat and sand as the substrate and make sure to treat the sections with a rootstock. Doing this will help the roots appear after only about 3 weeks. However, if you do not want to use cuttings, it is often just as easy to grow the plant from seeds. The seeds for this plant are quite small, so they should be sown shallowly and only slightly sprinkled with soil. Once the seeds have been sown, it is important to spray the surface of the substrate with a spray gun and then cover it with polyethylene. After that, the covered substrate should be placed in a warm and bright place. The fresh seeds will germinate quickly, usually within three weeks. Once the seedlings have germinated, the film can be removed. When the seedlings have become acclimated, they can be planted in separate pots. It is not uncommon for young plants of this species to bloom in the first summer after they have been sown.

Bloom

Why Lagerstroemia won't bloom? Eventually, the flowers have 6 wavy petals and long stamens. The coloring varied: from white to lilac, lilac and red. The campanula plant has an interesting feature. The color of the flower changes with the development and within a day. By evening, the flower is darker. On one plant, the flowers have different shades.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Lagerstroemia? The reason you want to transplant Lagerstroemia is because the roots fill the substrate quickly. With the development of the root system, it is desirable to transfer the plant during the season. However, the size of the pot should not be very large. The plant will have the best flowering in a small bowl.

Caring The Lagerstroemia

How to care the plant? Eventually, you will want to prune your Lagerstroemia to shape it and encourage new growth. You can do this in Autumn after it blooms or in Spring. Remember that only current year's growth will flower, so try to focus on that. In early March, cut the shoots back by about two-thirds. By the end of March, finish your pruning so that new shoots with flower buds can develop. Pinching the shoots will encourage additional branching. Lagerstroemia makes a great bonsai tree!

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Lagerstroemia plant? Although it is very resistant to pests, it may be affected by powdery mildew when kept in stagnant air. To combat powdery mildew, you can use fungicidal drugs, for example, foundation, “Gamair”. The plant often suffers from a lack of light. In this case, it does not bloom very much, shoots stretch. Weakened shoots also develop with insufficient feeding.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Lagerstroemia poisonous? So, the lagerstroemia plant is safe for people and pets. But, if you have any allergies, it's best to avoid this plant.