How are the heights measured?
All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.
What is a gallon container?
Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.
How does the delivery process work?
All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!
Why are some states excluded from shipping?
The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.
The Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle is a small tree reaching 20 feet within 10 years, with a dense, leafy crown and upright spreading growth. All summer long it is covered in big flower heads of very large flowers, of a brilliant rich purple-violet color. It is perfect as a specimen tree on a lawn, at the back of shrub beds, in the corners of your garden or near the house. It makes a tough and reliable screen, even in hot and dry areas.
- Tree-sized crape myrtle with erect and dense growth
- Very large blooms in big heads of many flowers
- Beautiful purple-violet blossoms
- Resistant to all important diseases
- Excellent even in very hot and dry locations
The Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle grows best in full sun, in any well-drained soil, including dry, rocky and sandy soils. It thrives in hot, dry places, and it is very drought resistant once it is established. It was bred to have strong resistance to all the important diseases of crape myrtles, and it is very tough, reliable and easy to grow. Some pruning in late winter will keep it dense and a little shorter, if desired.
- Plant Hardiness Zones 6-9
- Mature Width 8-12
- Mature Height 18-25
- Soil Conditions Well-Drained Soil
- Sunlight Full Sun
- Drought Tolerance Very Drought Resistant
There have been a lot of new dwarf crape myrtles available recently. These often have purple leaves and relatively small trusses of flowers, and they are great foliage plants for smaller gardens and low screens. But we haven’t seen a lot of new full-sized trees, with the classic rich green foliage and big, showy flower displays all summer, that a good crape myrtle can deliver. That’s why we were thrilled to find some great plants of the Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle. This show-stopper has huge trusses of bright purple-pink to violet blooms, with as many as 250 blossoms in every truss, and with those huge heads on every stem. A tree in bloom is stunning, and this fast-growing, disease-resistant tree is perfect for a lawn specimen or planted as a row along your property boundary. Within 10 years they will be 20 feet tall, and the tight, upright habit of this tree means they will be no more than 10 feet across. Of course, you can trim in late winter to keep them smaller and even bushier if you wish.
Growing the Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle
Size and Appearance
The Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle has an upright growth habit, with strong verticals stems keeping it neat and tight. It is fast growing, adding as much as 3 feet a year when young, and reaching about 20 feet tall within 10 years. By that time it will be about 10 feet wide. It may add another 5 feet or so in the future. The crown is thick and bushy, and unlike many older varieties the leaves don’t start dropping off in summer from disease, so that dense, solid foliage makes it excellent for shade and screening. The leaves are about 2 inches long and 1½ inches wide, with a rich glossy texture and a deep green color. In fall they turn shades of red, orange and yellow, making an attractive display.
Every branch ends in a large flower head that is 6 inches long, and each one is packed with up to 250 buds. The large flowers open in succession over a long period, and flowering lasts from June all the way into August. The huge flowers are each 2 inches across, with heavy ruffling and they are bright purple-pink to violet, with a golden center. A tree in bloom is a wonderful sight for weeks and weeks. Even the seed heads are attractive, and add some winter interest.
Using the Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle in Your Garden
The Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle is a wonderful flowering specimen tree for a lawn, or at the back of your beds. Plant it in corners of your yard, or near the house, where you can admire it from upstairs windows. Planted in a row, spacing the trees 6 feet apart, it makes a wonderful screen or informal hedge, and there are several pruning options to control its size and density.
The Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle is completely hardy in zone 7, 8, and 9. It is root hardy in zone 6 as well, which means that the branches will often die back, but new stems will sprout from the base of the tree, creating a full bush at least 3 feet tall, and blooming vigorously, within the season.
Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions
Grow the Miss Sandra Crap Myrtle in full sun – even a little shade will reduce flowering significantly. It will grow well in any well-drained soil, including poor, dry and rocky soils. Avoid wet, low-lying areas. Water regularly during the first growing season – after that it will be very drought resistant.
Maintenance and Pruning
This variety has been selected and carefully tested to be resistant to all the diseases that crape myrtles can suffer from. This includes bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew, Cercospora leaf spot, and “Rabbit Tracks”, a mysterious disorder affecting many other varieties. Insect pests are almost never a serious issue.
Pruning of crape myrtles depends on how you want it to grow. Hard pruning is not recommended, as it produces long stems that often cannot carry the weight of the blossoms. Moderate pruning when young, to develop a framework of sturdy limbs, will give the best results. Prune or trim only in late winter, before new growth appears, as summer trimming will remove the flower buds. Remove weak branches, and trim back the previous year’s growth by about one-third. Once well established and mature trimming is not needed every year.
History and Origin of the Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle
The variety of crape myrtle called ‘Miss Sandra’ was developed at the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory in Poplarville, Mississippi, a division of the US Department of Agriculture. Breeders there took pollen from an older variety called ‘Tonto’, created at the National Arboretum in 1995, with good disease resistance and bright fuchsia-pink flowers. They used that pollen on an unnamed seedling with purple flowers found in San Antonio, Texas. One of the seedlings from that cross became ‘Miss Sandra’, and after 9 years of extensive trials and testing it was released in 2015.
Buying the Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle at The Tree Center
The thorough professional testing and trials carried out by the USDA breeders means that although it is a new variety, the Miss Sandra Crape Myrtle already has a proven track record. Plant it with confidence and enjoy its wonderful blooms all summer long. This variety is highly regarded, so the demand is high – order now.