If you live in the warmer parts of America there are many colorful trees and shrubs that you can grow – but Dynamite Crape Myrtle is one of the best. Not only does it have beautiful pinkish-red blooms all summer long, but it grows rapidly into a full-sized shrub or screen. Crape Myrtles come in many sizes, so the wrong choice may leave you with a baby plant where you wanted a full-sized tree. Dynamite is a full, tree-sized Crape Myrtle, quickly reaching 20 feet in height. It is one of the fastest-growing Crape Myrtles you can buy, but you don’t have to give up beauty for speed, because this tree is a real beauty. In colder regions the roots will still survive and they will send up flowering shoots that can grow 6 feet in a single season.
It will grow 5 to 6 feet a year, so it quickly develops into a dense, beautiful flowering screen. In addition to being drought tolerant, any pests it gets are minor and will give you no problems. It is also deer resistant so it can be planted anywhere. This plant has good resistance to the disfiguring mildew than can occur on Crape Myrtles in humid regions. This is such an easy plant to grow that if you allow enough space it won’t even need to be pruned, but will produce a profusion of stunning flowers all summer long, year after year.
Growing Dynamite Crape Myrtle Trees
Dynamite Crape Myrtle quickly grows into a large shrub or small tree 20 feet tall, with glossy leaves and enormous clusters of beautiful pinkish-red flowers produced all summer. The clusters are larger than other Crape Myrtles and can be 14 inches long. The bark is an attractive pinkish-gray and naturally peels off to reveal fresh new bark below. The leaves are reddish when they emerge in spring, turn green in summer and then lovely shades of orange and red in the fall. The twigs and bark are attractive all winter.
Dynamite 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. In zones 5 and 6 the branches will die in the winter but readily re-sprout in spring and grow 5 feet tall and flower in a single season. It needs 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 over-water or plant in a low-lying, wet spot; we have lots of other choice plants for those locations.
Planting as a Screen
When planting a screen space the plants 6 feet apart. 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 plants 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.
Sun Exposure and Watering
Dynamite Crape Myrtle needs full sun, both for the health of the plant and so the flowers will develop their proper red color. 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, but this is not needed for mature plants.
They need no special pruning, but they can be shaped during the winter. Prune while young, since it is best not to cut branches thicker than 3 inches across, and if plants are cut hard they will produce lots of growth but fewer flowers. A specimen tree can easily be produced by trimming off the side branches in the lower parts, to leave one or a few main trunks with a dense crown that will continue to bloom all summer and well into fall. This is truly a low-maintenance plant.
History and Origins of the Dynamite Crape Myrtle
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 vivid blooms. From those original plants many forms have been bred, but Dynamite is without a doubt one of the best, combining strong color with rapid growth and sturdy form. Dr. Carl Whitcomb, a famous professor and plant breeder, is responsible for a whole new generation of Crape Myrtles that have eclipsed the older varieties. Dynamite has exploded onto the gardening scene and is considered one of his best and most popular varieties.
Buying Dynamite Crape Myrtles at The Tree Center
Dynamite is such a special plant that only the exact plant will have the right color and growth rate. 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. Crape Myrtles labelled ‘Red’ will definitely not be this famous Dynamite variety.
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.