Diamond Dazzle® Crape MyrtleLagerstroemia hybrid 'PIILAG-I' (PP#23,168)
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Lagerstroemia hybrid 'PIILAG-I' (PP#23,168)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Diamond Dazzle® Crape Myrtle is a fabulous flowering bush with compact growth to no more than 4 feet tall and wide, blooming profusely from early summer into the fall. The big heads of pure-white flowers look great against the glossy, dark-green leaves, and each bloom has that classic ruffled crepe-paper look we all love. Ideal for beds or planter boxes, it would look terrific planted along a fence or around a terrace, or as a knock-out specimen with other flowering shrubs. Make sure your garden blooms in the summer heat with this terrific bush.
Plant your Diamond Dazzle® Crape Myrtles in full sun, in any well-drained soil. Established plants are drought resistant, and handle poor, dry soils well. It is even tolerant of salt-spray, so it’s great at the coast, and the leaves stay clean all summer because it has been bred for disease resistance. Dead-heading as flower clusters fade is helpful, and a spring trim before the new leaves come out will keep it super-bushy year after year. Don’t trim new growth before it has bloomed.
Sometimes it is hard to even remember when crape myrtles were tall bushes and small trees, there are today so many wonderful dwarf forms. Those bigger bushes are still incredibly useful as specimens in your garden, but for mass planting, containers and smaller spaces, dwarf plants, like the Diamond Dazzle® Crape Myrtle, take center stage. For a continuous show of pure white blossoms, you can’t beat this fabulous shrub. Compact, and often with more bloom than leaves, it really does dazzle like a diamond in the summer sun. White flowers really come into their own in the long evenings of summer, spreading cooling light around, as you barbeque and party. While darker colors disappear into the shadows, white blooms like this one stay bright, and when kissed by moonlight they are a magical vision that will take your breath away. Poetics aside, this hybrid plant is very easy to grow, a tough and reliable bloomer for months, and a valuable addition to any garden.
The Diamond Dazzle® Crape Myrtle is a compact, bushy deciduous shrub, with dense branching from the ground. It quickly grows to 3 or 4 feet tall and wide, staying neat and compact with a little annual pruning. The rounded, glossy leaves are between 1 and 1 ½ inches long, a rich dark-green, and crowded along the stems.
The first flowers appear in early summer, with a peak display during July and August, continuing into early fall. Every branch is topped with a large cluster of many blooms, in rounded heads measuring 4 inches by 4 inches, packed with inch-wide individual flowers. These have a unique crinkled, crepe-paper look, and they are pure, glowing white, with a golden-yellow center. Individual flowers last just one day, but there are so many that the heads bloom for weeks. With dead-heading of the first flush, more flower clusters will be produced, keeping your bush blooming longer. If you leave it untrimmed, and this is fine to do at the end of the season, then fascinating seed-heads form, which stay well into winter, adding interest.
The dense, smaller form of the Diamond Dazzle® Crape Myrtle make it ideal for filling shrub beds with summer color. It can be grown alone in a smaller bed, or mass planted in a larger one. For group planting space plants about 2 feet apart. It can be grown on slopes, or used to fill the levels of terracing. Tuck it among the evergreens around your home, or plant a row to hide an unsightly fence or fill narrow spaces along a drive, or between a path and a wall. Sun-loving, it grows well right out in the heat and dryness. Its size and long bloom period also makes it an ideal container plant, standing outdoors all winter in zones 8 and 9.
The Diamond Dazzle® Crape Myrtle is completely hardy in zones 7,8 and 9. It can be grown successfully in zone 6 too, even though it may suffer some winter damage. It will re-sprout in spring, after you remove any dead wood, and bloom just as prolifically. Make sure it has a hot, sheltered spot to grow in.
Like all crape myrtles, this one should be planted out in the sun. Even a small amount of shade impacts negatively on blooming. Plant in any well-drained soil, and established plants have good drought resistance, and thrive in hot areas, although a deep soak from time to time will really keep those blooms coming.
Pests are almost never a problem, and like the best modern hybrids, the Diamond Dazzle® Crape Myrtle has excellent resistance to powdery mildew and leaf spot. Some spring mulch will help develop strong vigorous growth by feeding your plant and conserving moisture. Dead-heading isn’t essential, but it will improve repeat flowering. Just trim off flower heads as soon as the last blossoms fall, cutting back to the first leaf. Before you know it fresh stems will sprout out and carry more blooms. Leave the latter heads, to enjoy those seed pods. If you want to keep it more compact, trim back in late winter or early spring, before new growth comes. You can cut stems of the previous year back to just a few inches long, an ideal thing to do for plants in containers. Don’t trim new shoots until they have bloomed.
The Diamond Dazzle® Crape Myrtle is a carefully created hybrid plant, based on earlier crosses between Lagerstroemia indica, the first crape myrtle grown in America, and other species, especially Lagerstroemia fauriei. Michael Dirr is a well known professor and breeder, and he created a breeding program a the Center for Applied Nursery Research in Dearing, Georgia. There he created his Razzle Dazzle® series of colorful dwarf crape myrtles. For this particular plant he began with seeds from a pink-flowering dwarf variety called Dazzle Me Pink®, (‘Gamad V’). He grew the seeds in 2000, and among them was one with a great dwarf habit and fabulous, pure-white flowers. He added to the series as Diamond Dazzle®, and patented it in 2012 with the official cultivar name of ‘PIILAG-I’. It was released to gardeners as part of the Gardener’s Confidence® Collection.
White fits everywhere, so plant it with confidence that you won’t be seeing any clashing colors in your beds. The Diamond Dazzle® Crape Myrtle is a real winner when you want a small shrub with big flower power, so don’t hesitate. We have some great plants, but they won’t stay around long, so act now while we still have bushes to ship to you.