Red Rocket Crape MyrtleLagerstroemia indica 'Red Rocket'
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Lagerstroemia indica 'Red Rocket'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Bright Red Blooms – Red Rocket Crape Myrtle is the queen of crape myrtles, with its brilliant red flowers produced all summer long. As its name suggests it grows like a rocket, shooting up as much as 5 feet a year, to quickly form a beautiful screen or specimen in your garden. It loves full sun, is drought-resistant, will thrive in most soils and needs little or no pruning. It can be planted as a gorgeous individual specimen in a smaller garden, among other flowering shrubs or as a spectacular screen for privacy.
• Rapid growth rate – 5 feet a year
• Brilliant red flowers to brighten any garden
• Ideal small specimen tree for a sunny lawn
• Perfect colorful screening plant
• Disease-free foliage
For drought tolerance and the ability to grow in poor, compacted soil, this tree takes some beating. At 15 feet tall it is the perfect size for every garden – as a lawn specimen in a small one or a background shrub in a large one. It also makes a great screen a couple of stories high in narrower urban spaces.
If you live in the warmer parts of America there are many colorful trees and shrubs that you can grow – but Red Rocket Crape Myrtle is one of the best. Not only does it have beautiful vivid red blooms all summer long, but it also 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. Red Rocket is a full, tree-sized Crape Myrtle, quickly passing 12 feet in height. It is perhaps the fastest-growing Crape Myrtle you can buy; but you don’t have to give up beauty for speed, because this tree is a real beauty.
It will grow 5 feet each 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 give you no problems. It is also deer resistant, so it can be planted virtually 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 allow enough space it won’t even need to be pruned, but will produce a profusion of stunning red flowers all summer long, year after year.
Red Rocket Crape Myrtle quickly grows into an upright small tree or large shrub 12 to 15 feet tall, with glossy leaves and enormous clusters of beautiful red flowers produced all summer. The bark is an attractive light-brown and naturally peels off to reveal fresh new bark below. The leaves turn a lovely yellow in the fall and the twigs are attractive all winter.
Red Rocket 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. 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 choices of plants for those locations.
Red Rocket is more upright than many crape myrtles, so when planting a screen they should be planted 4 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.
Red Rocket 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. If you have a specimen tree you might want to remove old flowers to encourage more new ones, but Red Rocket will continue to bloom even if you do nothing at all. This is truly a low-maintenance plant.
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 Red Rocket is without a doubt one of the best, combining strong color with rapid growth and sturdy form. The original crape myrtles were white, lavender or pink and it took until 1997 for Dr Carl Whitcomb, a famous professor, to produce the first and then others, of which Red Rocket is considered his best and certainly the most popular.
Red Rocket is such a special plant that only the exact plant will have the right color and growth rate. 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 Red Rocket.
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.
The best time to plant a Red Rocket Crape Myrtle is in the early spring or fall. This allows the tree to establish its root system in moderate temperatures before the heat of summer or the chill of winter. However, because it’s a hardy and adaptable tree, it can be planted at any time of the year as long as it’s properly cared for. Just ensure it gets plenty of sun and water it regularly until it’s established.
To encourage more blooms on your Red Rocket Crape Myrtle, ensure it’s planted in a location that receives full sun. The more sun it gets, the more flowers it will produce. Additionally, while it doesn’t require much pruning, removing old flowers can stimulate the growth of new ones. Lastly, regular watering and fertilizing during the growing season can also promote more abundant blooms.
Red Rocket Crape Myrtle is best suited to warmer climates and is hardy in USDA zones 7 through 9. It may struggle in colder climates, particularly in areas where temperatures drop below freezing for extended periods. However, if you live in a colder zone and still want to grow this tree, consider planting it in a container and bringing it indoors during the winter.
Red Rocket Crape Myrtle is a relatively disease-free tree. However, in humid conditions, it can develop powdery mildew, a fungal disease that appears as a white or gray powder on the leaves. This is usually harmless and disappears over winter. As for pests, this tree is resistant to deer, but it can occasionally be affected by aphids. Regular inspections and prompt treatment can help keep these issues in check.
Thanks to its rapid growth and vibrant red flowers, Red Rocket Crape Myrtle is a versatile addition to any landscape design. It can be used as a standalone specimen tree, adding a pop of color to your lawn. Alternatively, because of its fast growth, it can be used as a colorful screening plant, providing privacy in just a few years. Its upright growth also makes it suitable for narrower urban spaces.
Red Rocket Crape Myrtle is adaptable and can grow in a wide range of soil types. However, it prefers well-drained soil and does not do well in areas that are often wet. While it’s drought-resistant, it will thrive best in a soil that retains some moisture but drains well. It can tolerate both acidic and alkaline soils, but a slightly acidic soil is ideal.
Considering its rapid growth and mature height, Red Rocket Crape Myrtle needs a good amount of space to grow. When planting, ensure it’s placed at least 5 to 10 feet away from buildings or other plants to allow for its mature spread. If you’re planting multiple trees as a screen, they should be spaced about 4 feet apart to allow for healthy growth and air circulation.
Yes, you can grow Red Rocket Crape Myrtle in a pot, but keep in mind that it’s a fast-growing tree that can reach 12 to 15 feet in height. Choose a large, deep pot to accommodate its root system and ensure it has good drainage. Regular watering and fertilizing are also crucial when growing this tree in a container. Remember to move it indoors or to a sheltered location during winter if you live in a colder zone.
Red Rocket Crape Myrtle is drought-resistant and doesn’t require frequent watering once established. However, during the first year after planting, it’s important to water it regularly to help establish its root system. After that, you can reduce watering, but during dry spells or hot summers, it may need additional water. Always check the soil moisture levels before watering to avoid overwatering.
A balanced, slow-release fertilizer is ideal for Red Rocket Crape Myrtle. Look for a fertilizer with a ratio like 10-10-10 or 14-14-14, which provides an equal amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen promotes leafy growth, phosphorus supports root development and flowering, and potassium enhances overall plant health. Apply the fertilizer in early spring and again in mid-summer for best results.