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Growing Petite Orchid Crape Myrtles

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Growing Petite Orchid Crape Myrtles

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Overview

Lagerstroemia indica 'Monhid' may be more familiar as the petite orchid crape myrtle. A vigorous, fast-growing plant, this dwarf variety of crape myrtle attains a mature size of only about 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. This makes it a nice choice for the blooming enthusiast who has little space. Flourishing best in USDA zones 7 through 9, a petitie orchid crape myrtle adores full sun and blooms profusely during long, hot summers. This plant is perfect for the lazy gardener and demands little in the way of care or maintenance once established.

Step 1

Select a loamy, well-draining spot in full sun; a slightly acidic soil is best with a preferred pH range of about 5.0 to 6.5. Plant bareroot or burlapped specimens in fall or winter while they're still dormant.

Step 2

Cultivate the planting site well. Amend with humus such as compost or well-rotted manure. Cover the planting area with 1 or 2 inches of humus. Work that into the top 3 to 5 inches of soil.

Step 3

Plant the petite orchid crape myrtle at the same level that it occupied in the growing container. Water it slowly to thoroughly moisten the surface of the planting site soil. Add about 3 inches of mulch.

Step 4

Feed the crape myrtle an all-purpose blooming tree fertilizer during the first season. Follow the packaging instructions carefully.

Step 5

Keep the area evenly moist but never wet or soggy throughout the first growing season.

Step 6

Trim the round, green seed pods from the petite orchid crape myrtle as soon as the flowers fade after the first bloom flush.

Step 7

Prune the crape myrtle during very early spring or late winter before new growth begins to emerge to prevent the loss of bloom buds. Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches.

Tips and Warnings

  • Crape myrtles don't like wet feet. Once established, they require only occasional, supplemental watering during the hottest summer dry spells.

Things You'll Need

  • Humus (optional)
  • Mulch
  • All-purpose blooming tree fertilizer

References

  • University of Georgia: Crape Myrtle Culture
  • University of Florida: Crape Myrtle
  • The Grumpy Gardener: Crepe Myrtle -- Your Questions Answered
  • New York City Compost: Amending Soils

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • Monrovia: Petite Orchid Crape Myrtle
Keywords: crape myrtle, crepe myrtle, petite orchid

About this Author

Axl J. Amistaadt began as a part-time amateur freelance writer in 1985, turned professional in 2005, and became a full-time writer in 2007. Amistaadt’s major focus is publishing material for GardenGuides. Areas of expertise include home gardening, horticulture, alternative and home remedies, pets, wildlife, handcrafts, cooking, and juvenile science experiments.

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