As gardens become smaller there is a lot of interest in smaller plants. Plant breeders have responded by producing some real jewels that grace even the smallest garden. Crape Myrtles are fantastic plants for summer color and they are very drought-resistant and tolerant of harsh conditions. Most of them are large bushes and even small trees, and they don’t fit well into a smaller garden, so if you have a small garden you may have been missing out on these terrific plants. The Pocomoke Crape Myrtle has changed all that; so now, in the smallest garden, or even if you have no garden at all, you can enjoy the beautiful crepe-paper flowers of these wonderful plants.
The Pocomoke Crape Myrtle will grow less than two feet tall and about three feet across, keeping this dwarf habit for many years. Because of its small size it is an ideal choice for a colorful container plant or for group-plantings in the garden in front of larger shrubs. It is especially showy because its rose-pink flowers start to appear in early summer and continue right into the fall, bringing rich color throughout the time when your garden is having the most use. It has also been specially bred to be resistant to the unsightly powdery mildew that often disfigures other Crape Myrtles and detracts from their beauty, so this plant will be gorgeous all the time.
Growing Pocomoke Crape Myrtles
This is one of the hardier Crape Myrtles and it will survive well in all parts of zone 6. There it will die back to the roots in winter, but it will rapidly re-sprout in spring and by summer be at its best and covered in blooms. From zone 7b it will suffer no winter damage at all, even when in exposed locations or in a container.
Pocomoke Crape Myrtle Grows as a small, compact bush, wider than it is high. It will grow to perhaps 2 feet tall in the garden, but only 20 inches tall in a container, even after several years. It will be about 3 feet wide in a container and a little wider in the garden. So if you just have a little space to fill, or if you are looking for a low group of plants to use in the front of a border, or in a narrow strip – perhaps along a driveway – the Pocomoke Crape Myrtle makes an ideal choice. Even if the area is hot, sunny and dry, your plants will thrive and flower for at least four months of the year.
Appearance and Colors
The bunches of bright rose-pink flowers give a continuous display, from summer right up to the first frost in fall, so just when you are in the garden relaxing, entertaining and enjoy the outdoor life, the Pocomoke Crape Myrtle will be full of beautiful bright color, making a continuous display. The leaves are thick and leathery and grow just 2 inches long, giving the plant a lovely dense appearance. In fall the leaves turn bronzy-red making a beautiful fall display before the leaves drop for the winter.
In zone 6 most of the top-growth will die over the winter, but strong new shoots will grow up from the base and form a 12 to 18 inch shrub, which will flower in summer and into the fall. If you do live in a cool area, wait to trim your plants until spring. Once new shoots are seen, remove the dead branches back to those new shoots.
Choose a sunny spot for your Pocomoke Crape Myrtle. It should be planted in well-drained soil and not in a low-lying area of your garden. It will grow in all kinds of soil as long as they are not often soggy, and it has some salt-resistance, so it can be planted close to a road. 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. Dig a hole 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.
Growing in Containers
For container planting, make sure your pot or planter has drainage holes and use a regular potting soil for outdoor plants. Mix some coarse sand into the soil to give your plants the good drainage they love. Water container plants only when the soil has become a little dry and always water thoroughly. Use a liquid flowering-plant fertilizer every two weeks form spring to late summer.
History and Origins of the Pocomoke Crape Myrtle
The National Arboretum, Washington D.C. has a long history in breeding Crape Myrtles and many of the best forms available were produced from their breeding programs. Because of the increased demand for smaller plants for today’s smaller gardens they are now breeding plants much smaller than their established varieties. ‘Pocomoke’ is a complex hybrid but is chiefly the product of the common Crape Myrtle Lagerstroemia indica and another species, L. fauriei. It is highly resistant to mildew.
Buying Pocomoke Crape Myrtles at The Tree Center
Pocomoke Crape Myrtle was introduced in 2000 and it 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 bushes absolutely known to be right. Our plants are grown this correct way, from branch cuttings of these correctly identified parent bushes – that way every tree is identical to the original one. These take longer to produce, so avoid cheaper, seedling plants that will only be a disappointment.
Our Pocomoke Crape Myrtles are true to the original form of the breeders. We are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this fabulous new shrub may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now.