Although the crepe myrtle appreciates a lot of warmth and long summers, it has also become at home in our latitudes and is very easy to cultivate.
The loosestrife family originally comes from China and Korea. There the crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia) is also called "Lilac of the South". He is also known as a sun child, who surprises with an extraordinary abundance of flowers, whereby numerous different color variations are possible. In hot summers, the flowers appear from July and delight us until autumn.
With the planting, you lay the foundation for healthy plant growth and abundant flowering. The following information will help you to do nothing wrong when cultivating the crepe myrtle.
Find the right location
Warmth and sun are the basic requirements for healthy and blooming plants. The sun-hungry crepe myrtle likes to spend the summer outdoors. However, our summers are not always unconditionally suitable to offer the exotic from the Far East ideal conditions. A wind-protected location is therefore an advantage. Cool and rainy summers can lead to the flowers not opening until late summer and some buds not opening at all.
The plants should spend the winter in a cool and dark place in the house. Since all leaves are shed in autumn, photosynthesis does not take place during the cold season. That's why the crepe myrtle doesn't need any light. The crepe myrtle is also hardy to a certain extent and usually survives the first frosts quite well.
The ideal location in brief:
Choose the ideal substrate
A fresh and well-drained soil is the perfect substrate for healthy and vigorous plants. You can upgrade barren soils with compost or stable manure. The soil should also be well drained so that there is no waterlogging in the planter and the sensitive roots are attacked. Waterlogging can in principle be prevented by drainage from coarse sand or gravel.
The crepe myrtle should be given fresh soil every two years. Since the substrate in the planter wears out very quickly, a complete soil replacement is advisable. You have to lift the plant out of the planter, free the roots from the old substrate and put the crepe myrtle in new soil.
The right substrate in brief:
Planting crepe myrtle - step by step instructions
- Select planters with sufficient drainage holes.
- Prepare the substrate.
- Create drainage from clay granulate or coarse sand.
- Insert the plant.
- Fill up with substrate.
- Press on earth.
- Water the plant.
The crepe myrtle should preferably be planted in a bucket because it is better to spend the winter indoors. Outdoor cultivation is also possible in climatically favored regions. About 30 hybrids cope with our climate quite well and also tolerate double-digit frosts.
In the field, the crepe myrtle prefers a unique position. Plant neighbors should only appear at a distance of two to three meters.
How to properly care for crepe myrtles
After planting, you should water the crepe myrtle well. The floor should never dry out. In addition, waterlogging must not occur. On hot summer days, watering may be necessary several times. The leaves and flowers should not come into contact with the irrigation water if possible. A location that protects the plant from rainwater is also optimal.
The plants in the tub have a high nutrient requirement. Fertilization is therefore carried out regularly between spring and late summer. In addition, you should cut back the crepe myrtle after flowering, so that the plant can gather new strength for the upcoming flower formation.
This is how crepe myrtles are repotted properly
It should take about two years after planting until you repot the crepe myrtle for the first time. So choose a sufficiently large planter from the start, because crepe myrtles should be repotted as rarely as possible.
The plants should never be repotted during flowering or flowering. The right time is early spring before the crepe myrtle begins to sprout. You only have to repot older plants about every four years. Use high-quality potting soil and upgrade the substrate with compost so that the plants are well supplied with natural fertilizer.
Avoid diseases after planting the crepe myrtle
After planting, you should check the crepe myrtle more often. This provides information about whether the plants are growing well and whether you have chosen the ideal location. Incorrect location selection or irrigation errors can lead to disease and pest infestation.
Aphids are often observed. The pests can be seen with the naked eye and are usually very easy to control without chemicals. A shower with a garden hose is often sufficient to drive the pests away. Otherwise, spraying with garlic brew helps (Instructions for making garlic brew).
The occurrence of mildew turns out to be a major problem and often requires the use of pesticides. In cool and damp weather there is an increased risk of powdery mildew. If you place the plant protected from rain, the fungal attack can be largely avoided.