Pink Velour Crape Myrtle is one of the best flowering shrubs available for warmer regions of America. Not only does it have beautiful vivid pink 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, or vice versa. Pink Velour is a shrub-sized Crape Myrtle, reaching 12 feet in height.
It will grow 4 feet a year, so it quickly develops into a dense, beautiful flowering screen in just 2 or 3 years. It is drought tolerant and any pests it gets are minor so they will not give you problems. It is also deer resistant so it can be planted anywhere. In humid states it may develop a little mildew on the leaves, but this is harmless and will disappear over winter so your plants will come back fresh and green in the spring. This is such an easy plant to grow that if you leave it enough room you won’t need to prune it at all and it will produce a profusion of stunning rich pink flowers all summer long, year after year.
History and Origins of the Pink Velour 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 Pink Velour is without a doubt one of the best, combining strong colour with rapid growth and sturdy form. It was introduced in 1998 by Dr Carl Whitcomb, a famous professor and plant-breeder, who produced a number of new Crape Myrtles. Pink Velour is considered one of his best and most popular.
Growing Pink Velour Crape Myrtle Trees
Pink Velour Crape Myrtle quickly grows into an upright small tree or large shrub 6 to 12 feet tall, with enormous clusters of magenta-pink flowers produced from summer right up to the first frost. The leaves are burgundy-red when they emerge in spring, purple-green all summer and orange-brown in fall. The bark is an attractive greyish-brown color and naturally peels off to reveal fresh new bark below.
Pink Velour 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 zone 6 and even zone 5 the roots will survive winter but the branches will die to the ground. However, the plant will re-sprout readily and grow 2 to 4 feet in a single season, making a lovely small shrub and allowing northern gardeners to grow these coveted plants. 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 of Pink Velour Crape Myrtle they should be planted 4 to 5 feet apart. When planting Crepe Myrtles it is important not to plant any deeper than the containers they are in and not to cover the roots with a lot of soil. 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
Pink Velour Crape Myrtle needs full sun, both for the health of the plant and so the flowers will develop their best magenta-pink 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. If you have a specimen tree you might want to remove old flowers to encourage more new ones, but Pink Velour will continue to bloom even if you do nothing at all. This is truly a low-maintenance plant.
Buying Pink Velour Crape Myrtles at The Tree Center
Pink Velour 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 ‘Pink’ will definitely not be Pink Velour.
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. For this reason, our supplies of this tree may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now.