Grande Red™ Lagerstroemia spp. (CM01) Intended

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Lagerstroemia indica 'Grande Red™', marketed under the trade name Grande Red™, is a stunning cultivar of Lagerstroemia, commonly known as Crepe Myrtle. This deciduous shrub or small tree is prized for its vibrant red flowers, attractive bark, and compact growth habit. Grande Red™ is well-suited for Australian gardens, particularly in warmer regions, where it adds beauty and color to landscapes during the summer months.

Height and Width

  • Height: Typically grows to a height of 3 to 4 meters, though can reach up to 5 meters in optimal growing conditions.
  • Width: Spreads out to a width of about 2 to 3 meters, forming a rounded, densely branched canopy.

Soil Type

  • Soil Preference: Grande Red™ thrives in well-drained, fertile soil with a loamy or sandy texture. It prefers soil that is rich in organic matter and moisture-retentive. Ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot. It is adaptable to various soil types but performs best in slightly acidic conditions.

Plant Description

  • Foliage: The shrub features glossy, dark green leaves that are elliptic or lance-shaped and arranged alternately along the stems. The foliage provides an attractive backdrop for the vibrant red flowers and turns shades of yellow, orange, or red in autumn before dropping in winter.
  • Flowers: Lagerstroemia indica 'Grande Red™' produces abundant clusters of large, crinkled flowers in shades of bright red. The flowers appear in summer and continue into early autumn, creating a spectacular display of color. The blooms attract butterflies and other pollinators, adding to the garden's appeal.
  • Bark: The bark of Grande Red™ is smooth and mottled, with patches of gray, tan, and cinnamon hues. As the plant matures, the bark develops an attractive exfoliating texture, revealing patches of smooth, pale bark underneath.

Cultivation and Care

  • Watering: Provide regular watering to establish young plants and during periods of drought to maintain soil moisture. Once established, Grande Red™ is moderately drought-tolerant but benefits from consistent moisture during the growing season. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.
  • Sunlight: Lagerstroemia indica 'Grande Red™' thrives in full sun to partial shade, though it prefers at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day for optimal flowering. Plant in a location with ample sunlight and protection from strong winds.
  • Temperature: Grande Red™ is well-suited to the Australian climate and thrives in warm, temperate regions. It prefers mild winters and protection from frost, as freezing temperatures can damage tender foliage and flower buds. Plant in a sheltered location or provide frost protection during winter.
  • Pruning: Prune lightly in late winter to early spring to remove dead or diseased branches and promote new growth. Lagerstroemia indica 'Grande Red™' blooms on new wood, so pruning encourages vigorous flowering and maintains a compact shape. Remove any crossing or crowded branches to improve air circulation and prevent pest and disease problems.
  • Fertilising: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertiliser formulated for flowering shrubs in spring to promote healthy growth and flowering. Alternatively, use a liquid fertiliser for ornamental shrubs every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season. Avoid excessive fertilisation, as it can lead to lush foliage at the expense of flowering.

Additional Notes

  • Pests and Diseases: Grande Red™ is relatively resistant to pests and diseases but may be susceptible to issues such as aphids, powdery mildew, and sooty mould in humid conditions. Monitor regularly and treat promptly if pests or diseases are detected. Maintain good air circulation and avoid overcrowding to minimise fungal problems.
  • Uses: Ideal for use as a specimen plant, focal point, or flowering hedge in gardens, parks, and landscapes. Lagerstroemia indica 'Grande Red™' adds vibrant color, beauty, and elegance to outdoor spaces, making it a popular choice for gardeners seeking a low-maintenance, high-impact plant.