Miss Francis Crape MyrtleLagerstroemia hybrid 'Miss Frances'
View more from Crape Myrtle Trees
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Probiotic Root Stimulant
Lagerstroemia hybrid 'Miss Frances'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Miss Francis Crape Myrtle is a new breakthrough in color, producing dense clusters of flowers in the perfect lipstick red. The foliage is lustrous green, and remains healthy all summer, as this plant has been bred to resist disease. This tree grows a little less than 20 feet tall, or smaller if regularly pruned, so it is the ideal way to bring bright color into a smaller garden, on a tree that is easy to grow. Plant it on a lawn, or as a screen or informal hedge. Grow it as a backdrop to other flowering plants, and its vibrant coloring will really bring your garden alive. It blooms from June to August, so you will have color for months. Even when not blooming its beautiful leaves make it the perfect background plant, and in winter the handsome peeling bark, revealing many shades of cream, tan and brown, make it attractive even in that difficult season.
Plant the Miss Frances Crape Myrtle in full sun, as even a little shade will reduce flowering. It thrives in any kind of soil, from sand to clay, and in both acidic and alkaline soils. It has some resistance to salt spray, so it grows well near the beach. It is tough enough to grow well in harsh urban areas, and it always look green and healthy, because it has been bred for disease resistance. It is also highly drought resistant, so once established it needs almost no care from you. It will bloom and bloom, shrugging off drought, poor soil, and the hot sun.
Crape myrtles come in many colors, but pure red is at the same time one of the most desirable and also one of the scarcest. There are just a handful of varieties with pure red flowers, and the best among them is the Miss Francis Crape Myrtle. It forms a broad, rounded bush reaching 18 feet tall and 20 feet across within a decade. The foliage is rich green, on dense branches, making this tree ideal for screening and shade.
The flowers, in a rich shade of true red, are carried in panicles 6 inches long, and the tree is in continuous bloom from late June all the way into August. Because this tree is resistant to the leaf diseases that can disfigure older varieties, there is no leaf-drop, and the leaves stay healthy even through the hottest and most humid weather. In fall the leaves may show some tones of orange and yellow, before falling to reveal attractive peeling bark in many color shades, from near-white to tan and gray.
The Miss Frances Crape Myrtle is a tough, reliable plant that is ideal for those sunny, drier places in your garden. It will make an excellent specimen on a lawn; a row of screening trees for privacy or to block out an ugly view; or as background planting to other shrubs and flowers. Imagine the beauty of red blooms against the sky in your garden, and on a tree that is very easy to grow.
Indeed, crape myrtles are very, very easy, and ask nothing but a sunny spot. Once established the Miss Frances Crape Myrtle will survive drought, and grow in almost any kind of soil, just as long as it is well-drained. Even if your soil is sandy or stony, this plant will thrive, although of course like any plant, richer soil and some attention to watering during dry spells will give you a larger tree, with more flowers and denser foliage.
With its shorter height, the Miss Frances Crape Myrtle fits well into smaller gardens, and if you have a small urban garden, then it is ideal, since this tree is tough, and thrives in harsh urban conditions. Just choose a sunny location, as even a little shade will reduce the quantity of flowers produced. Since it has been bred for disease resistance, you need have no concerns about it becoming unsightly and dropping its leaves – that is not going to happen with this plant.
You can grow the Miss Frances Crape Myrtle in several ways. Left to grow naturally it will form a rounded tree 18 to 20 feet tall and wide. You can trim it to create a tree-like form, with one or a few main stems. You can also encourage it to grow from the base, forming a rounded tree with low branches. By trimming it harder you can keep it around 10 feet tall. Prune in late winter, cutting the stems from the previous year back as much as you want. You can leave them several feet long, or just a few inches long. Either way you will have a good flower display, since crape myrtles bloom at the end of new growth that develops in spring. You can also trim it to create an informal hedge or screen, but don’t trim until after flowering – do it in fall and winter only – as summer trimming will remove the flower buds before they can form.
Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) has a long history in America. The first plants arrived over 150 years ago, and they thrived in the South. Over the last century, scientists started breeding hybrid plants from several species, chiefly at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC, to produce plants in new colors and sizes, as well as disease resistance. Since then other breeders have worked with these plants, which respond well to breeding, producing a wide variety of offspring.
The Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture have done extensive breeding, and in 2015 they released several new varieties, with ‘Miss Frances’ being a top pick, especially desirable for its red flower color, dense growth, excellent leaf retention, and rapid growth. Our trees are produced from stem cuttings of plants traced back to that original seedling of the breeder, and they retain all those desirable characteristics. New varieties of crape myrtle are always in high demand, so our stock will not last long. Order now so that we can complete your order before our supply is gone.
The best time to prune Miss Francis Crape Myrtle is in late winter when the plant is dormant. This is because pruning encourages new growth, and the flowers of this plant bloom at the end of new growth that develops in spring. By pruning in late winter, you give the plant enough time to develop new growth before the blooming season. Additionally, pruning can be used to control the size and shape of the plant. For example, by trimming it harder, you can keep it around 10 feet tall.
Miss Francis Crape Myrtle is a robust plant that has been bred for disease resistance. It has excellent resistance to powdery mildew, a common disease that affects many plants. This means that it can remain green and healthy even in harsh urban conditions where disease pressure can be high. However, like any plant, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for signs of pests or diseases and take action if necessary.
Yes, Miss Francis Crape Myrtle can be grown in containers, although it may not reach its full height of 18 to 20 feet. When growing this plant in a container, it’s important to ensure that the container has good drainage, as this plant thrives in well-drained soil. Additionally, because it is a tough and adaptable plant, it can handle the restricted root space of a container, provided it is given adequate care and attention.
Miss Francis Crape Myrtle is highly drought resistant and can thrive in sunny, drier places. This means that it does not require frequent watering. However, like any plant, it will benefit from regular watering during dry spells, especially when it is young and getting established. Once established, it can tolerate periods of drought, but it’s always a good idea to water it during prolonged dry periods to keep it looking its best.
Miss Francis Crape Myrtle is a robust and adaptable plant that can grow in almost any kind of soil. Therefore, it does not require a specific type of fertilizer. However, like any plant, it will benefit from a balanced fertilizer that provides all the necessary nutrients for growth. It’s a good idea to apply a slow-release fertilizer in the spring to support its growth during the blooming season.
Miss Francis Crape Myrtle is a fast-growing plant that has been bred for rapid growth. It can reach a height of 18 to 20 feet within a decade under optimal conditions. However, its growth rate can be influenced by factors such as sunlight, soil quality, and watering. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, and while it is drought resistant, regular watering can support faster growth.
Miss Francis Crape Myrtle is a product of extensive breeding by the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture. It was released in 2015 as one of several new varieties. Miss Francis was a top pick among these new varieties, especially desirable for its red flower color, dense growth, excellent leaf retention, and rapid growth.
Miss Francis Crape Myrtle is a tough and adaptable plant that can tolerate a range of conditions. However, it is not frost-tolerant and can be damaged by freezing temperatures. Therefore, it is best suited to regions with mild winters. If you live in a region with harsh winters, it’s a good idea to grow this plant in a container that can be moved indoors during the coldest months.
The peeling bark of Miss Francis Crape Myrtle is one of its most attractive features, especially in winter when the plant is not in bloom. The bark peels to reveal many color shades, from near-white to tan and gray, adding texture and interest to the plant. This feature, combined with its vibrant red flowers and lustrous green leaves, makes Miss Francis Crape Myrtle a plant of interest throughout the year.
The name ‘Miss Francis’ is likely a tribute to someone significant in the life of the breeder or the history of the plant. However, the specific significance of the name is not mentioned in the available resources. What we do know is that ‘Miss Francis’ was selected for its desirable characteristics, including its red flower color, dense growth, excellent leaf retention, and rapid growth.