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Old 08-15-2017, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
4,155 posts, read 2,722,786 times
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Hi!🙂, I was just curious about the supposed hardiness zones and more specifically, which plant hardiness zones can crape myrtles be successfully grown?? I ask such a question because I have a friend who has been growing these plants as a "herbaceous" perennial stick shrub that he cuts down every year to near the root zone/soil line, apparently he has been growing them in this way since the early 1990's. I am situated in/near the cusp of plant hardiness zones 5b and 6a, and my location is north of Indianapolis in the town of Noblesville, Indiana, so my three questions are as follows:


1. Is there really such a thing as "root hardy" crape myrtle?

2. What is the lowest extreme winter minimum temperature a crape myrtle can survive(root hardy or otherwise)?


3. If I were to ever consider growing a "root hardy" variety of crape myrtle, which varieties do you know of that may be "root hardy" in zones 5b and 6a?

All useful advice and insightful information on this matter is greatly appreciated😊
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:48 AM
 
4,189 posts, read 1,556,995 times
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When we lived in NY, a neighbor bought a bunch of Crape Myrtle when in South Carolina visiting family and he planted them along his property line in NY. His house was about 24 mikes north of NYC, zip code 10977.
The CM's grew tall and full and they were planted about 6 years ago and were still thriving last year when we moved away from that location.

I would guess if you searched by the zone map, the Crape Myrtles were out of their growing zone however they did thrive there and flower. None of the neighbors recognized the trees/ flowers or had ever seen them before in this area.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:08 AM
Status: "No longer very optimistic." (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
41,252 posts, read 51,079,804 times
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I have never heard of root hardy crape myrtles, nor have I heard of cutting them to the ground, but I have noticed that some are multi branched and shrub like, so those could be cut back.

I have heard of some varieties which are hardy up north, so just buy some that are. I'm surprised at what rickcin said about SC crape myrtle thriving in NY.

I'll try to find some for you. Do you want a shrub, or a tree?

http://www.crapemyrtle.com/store/c10...e_Myrtles.html
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:13 AM
 
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My mother used to say that our location (DC/MD- Zone 7) was the northern limit for Crepe Myrtles.

But that was a long time ago and breeding has produced some tougher varieties.

They might be iffy in your zone though. Plant it on the south side- near a wall is a plus. Heavy mulch in the winter and either wrap it in burlap or string Christmas lights for the first 2 or 3 winters.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:25 AM
Status: "No longer very optimistic." (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
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I was reading about them just now, and one article said that they tend to die back in the winter in in zone 6. I bet this is what's going on at OPs neighbor.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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As far as question #2 goes, I live in Zone 7a, have 23 crape myrtles, and they have survived winter temps as low as 5 degrees F. I don't have mine mulched either, for the most part, unless they're in their first year.
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:53 AM
Status: "No longer very optimistic." (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
41,252 posts, read 51,079,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
As far as question #2 goes, I live in Zone 7a, have 23 crape myrtles, and they have survived winter temps as low as 5 degrees F. I don't have mine mulched either, for the most part, unless they're in their first year.
Even here in zone 8, we've gotten down to 17 degrees a few times.
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Old 08-17-2017, 02:30 PM
 
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At times, Zones 7, 8, and 9 do indeed get as cold as Zones 4, 5, and 6.

However, the duration of low temperatures does not last as long. Therein lies the difference.

It may dip to 32 at the dew point each morning in Ft Lauderdale. But it does not stay there very long and thus rarely harms the coconut palms.
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:23 PM
 
6,123 posts, read 9,828,555 times
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Quote:
Lagerstroemia indica and hybrids within this species are hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 9 but are often killed to the ground in severe winters in Zone 7. Lagerstroemia fauriei is reliably hardy as far north as USDA Hardiness Zone 6. The USNA hybrids that have Lagerstroemia fauriei as a parent are hardier than Lagerstroemia indica cultivars, and develop into large specimens even in the colder parts of Zone 7.

Crapemyrtle Questions and Answers
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Old 08-19-2017, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
4,155 posts, read 2,722,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HB2HSV View Post
I don't know whether the crape myrtles that my neighbor cuts down to a few inches above the top of the ground after the first hard frost of the season are the lagerstroemia indica or the lagerstroemia fauriei variety, I am also not sure whether he knows which breed of crape myrtle he has. I also have seen a few crape myrtles here and there growing in random yards here in Noblesville and also down in Indianapolis. I am assuming that the varieties being grown here in central Indiana are hardy to zone 6. My dilemma with seeing such exotic plants which are usually associated with warmer climates is the fact that the Indianapolis area is not far from the borders of zone 5b. I have read random comments over the internet that at least some crape myrtles might be able to hold up to a zone 5 winter( I have seen my neighbors crape myrtles re sprout from under the ground every single spring, at least they have sprung up every year since the spring of 2013(the ones that he has start showing signs of life the last week in April or the first week of May), I have heard that the herbaceous shrublet crape myrtles which are cut to the ground(much like how people cut back the butterfly bushes) have been grown successfully in this manner as far north as Chicago and Cleveland. I would like to thank all the other members of C-D for sharing their knowledge and expertise on this topic of discussion
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