Lagerstroemia - Crepe Myrtle Natchez is a hardy crepe myrtle that grows to approx. 7m tall and has an abundance of clustered white flowers during Summer & Autumn.  Crepe Myrtles are deciduous and will drop their leaves during Winter before returning with a flush of beautiful leaves in Springs

Lagerstroemia 'Natchez' Crepe Myrtle

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Description: Lagerstroemia 'Natchez' is a deciduous shrub or small tree prized for its profuse summer blooms, attractive bark, and colorful autumn foliage. It is known for its upright growth habit and excellent disease resistance, making it a popular choice for gardens, landscapes, and urban settings.

Foliage:

  • Leaves: The foliage of 'Natchez' is medium green, ovate to lanceolate in shape, and arranged alternately along the stems. The leaves turn shades of yellow, orange, and red in autumn before dropping, adding seasonal interest.
  • Bark: One of the distinctive features of 'Natchez' is its smooth, exfoliating bark that reveals patches of cream, cinnamon, and gray, providing year-round visual appeal.

Flowers:

  • Inflorescence: 'Natchez' Crepe Myrtle produces large panicles of crinkled white flowers in mid to late summer. The flowers are abundant, fragrant, and attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
  • Blooming Period: Blooms persist for several weeks during the summer months, depending on the local climate and growing conditions.

Form:

  • Size: Typically grows to a height of 5-7 meters with a spread of 3-5 meters, forming an upright, vase-shaped crown.
  • Habit: Multi-stemmed with a graceful and spreading growth habit. The branches are often slightly arching, adding to its ornamental value.

Growing Conditions:

  • Climate: 'Natchez' Crepe Myrtle thrives in warm temperate to subtropical climates, making it suitable for various regions, including parts of Australia. It prefers areas with hot summers to promote abundant flowering.
  • Soil: Prefers well-drained, fertile soils. It can tolerate slightly acidic to neutral pH levels. Mulching around the base helps retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  • Sunlight: Requires full sun for optimal flowering and growth. At least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day is recommended.
  • Watering: Regular watering during the establishment period is crucial. Once established, it is moderately drought-tolerant but benefits from occasional deep watering during dry spells.

Planting and Care:

  • Planting: Best planted in spring or autumn. Ensure the planting hole is prepared to accommodate the root ball comfortably. Amend heavy soils with organic matter to improve drainage.
  • Pruning: Prune in late winter to early spring to remove any dead, damaged, or crossing branches and to shape the plant. 'Natchez' Crepe Myrtle blooms on new wood, so pruning encourages vigorous growth and flowering.
  • Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring to promote healthy growth and flowering. Avoid excessive nitrogen to prevent lush foliage growth at the expense of blooms.

Pests and Diseases: 'Natchez' Crepe Myrtle is generally resistant to most pests and diseases but can occasionally be affected by:

  • Powdery Mildew: Fungal disease that may affect foliage, especially in humid conditions. Ensure good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to minimize this issue.
  • Aphids: Small insects that may feed on new growth. Control with insecticidal soap or neem oil if infestations occur.

Landscape Uses:

  • Specimen Plant: Ideal as a focal point in the garden due to its attractive bark, profuse white flowers, and colorful foliage.
  • Hedging: Can be used as a small hedge or screen in gardens.
  • Street Tree: Suitable for urban landscapes and street planting where space permits.
  • Container Planting: Can be grown in large containers on patios or in courtyards to provide seasonal interest and ornamental value.

Notes:

  • Winter Hardiness: Lagerstroemia 'Natchez' is generally hardy but may benefit from protection in colder regions during harsh winters.
  • Maintenance: Low maintenance once established. Regular watering and occasional fertilizing promote healthy growth and flowering.

Companion Plants: Pair with plants that complement its white flowers and colorful autumn foliage for a harmonious landscape design

Lagerstroemia 'Natchez' (Natchez Crepe Myrtle)

Common Name: Natchez Crepe Myrtle

Botanical Name: Lagerstroemia 'Natchez'

Family: Lythraceae

Origin: United States, cultivated as a hybrid variety