If you live in the warmer parts of America there are many colourful trees and shrubs that you can grow. But Catawba Crape Myrtle is one of the best. Not only does it have beautiful violet-purple blooms all summer long, but it grows rapidly into a beautiful shrub that will bring vibrant color to your garden. Crape Myrtles come in many sizes, so the wrong choice may bring you with anything from a 3 foot dwarf shrub to a full-sized tree. Catawba is a medium-sized crape myrtle, quickly reaching 8 feet in height and eventually perhaps reaching 12 feet tall. This makes it a good fit in most gardens as it is big enough to have a real impact but not so large it will take over your whole yard.
It will grow 2 to 3 feet a year, so it quickly develops into a dense, beautiful flowering bush in just 2 or 3 years. Modern Crape Myrtles are root-hardy into zone 6 and often even into the warmer parts of zone 5, but the top-growth will die back in most winters. Catawba Crape Myrtle is a strong grower so it will easily re-grow from the base and reach 4 feet in a single season once well established. So now northern gardeners can enjoy spectacular Crape Myrtles they previously could only envy in the South. It is drought tolerant and any pests are minor and will give no problems. It is also deer resistant so it can be planted anywhere. In humid states Crape Myrtle may develop unsightly mildew on the leaves, but Catawba has resistance to this disease so it will often stay mildew free. Even if mildew does develop, your plant will come back the next spring absolutely healthy and clean.
The common crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) was first brought to Charleston, South Carolina around 1790 from its natural home in China and Korea. It thrived in the warm climate there and has long been a symbol of summer in the South, with its huge clusters of blooms. From those original plants many forms have been bred. The National Arboretum in Washington DC has been a prominent player in breeder Crape Myrtles for new sizes and colors and theCatawba Crape Myrtle is a product of their breeding, with its spectacular new color-break of rich purple. It is a medium-sized shrub 8 to 12 feet tall and as much across, with glossy leaves and enormous clusters of beautiful purple flowers produced all summer. The bark is a beautiful patch-work of grey, brown and maroon colors. The leaves are a glossy green and they turn rich red shades in the fall, adding to the beauty of this plant. The twigs and bark are attractive all winter so Catawba is attractive in all four seasons and is a real bonus for your garden.
Catawba Crape Myrtle grows in zones 7, 8 and 9, from Virginia throughout the South, and from Texas across to California and right up the west coast. It grows best in full sun and does well in all kinds of soil except those that are often wet, where it will not grow well. So don’t overwater or plant in a low-lying, wet spot. We have lots of other choices of plants for those locations.
Catawba is such a special plant that only the exact plant will have the rightflower color and be the right size. So it must be produced directly from trees absolutely known to be right. Our trees are grown the correct way, from branch cuttings of these special trees. That way every tree is identical to the original so they will produce a very uniform effect when planted in a row. However these take longer to produce so avoid cheaper seedling trees that will only be a disappointment
Catawba does not take up too much room and can be planted between other shrubs in just a few feet of space. It is upright in growth, so when planted as a screen 3 or 4 feet apart is a suitable spacing. It is important when planting crepe myrtles not to plant any deeper than the containers they are in and not to cover the roots with a lot of soil. So dig a hole or a trench two or three times wider than the pot, but no deeper. Place your plant in the hole, replace most of the soil and firm it well down. Then water thoroughly and replace the rest of the soil, being careful not to cover the roots with any extra soil.
Catawba Crape Myrtle needs full sun, both for the health of the plant and so the flowers will develop well. It will take just a little shade, but the more shade the fewer flowers. Once established it is very drought-hardy and rarely needs water, so this is an easy tree to care for – in fact it cares for itself. If you want the maximum growth this tree is capable of, then water regularly and give fertilizer regularly. As flowers are formed at the ends of new growth, pruning in late winter by cutting back long shoots will encourage plenty of new shoots and plenty of flowers. Remove the dead flower clusters as soon as they stop blooming so that new ones will replace them.
We sell only trees that are true to the original form and we have a wide range of sizes to give you the best plant for your purpose. However we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this tree may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now.