Hopi Planting Tips

One of the best summer-flowering deciduous small trees or large shrubs, the Hopi crape myrtle bears medium pink flower clusters on branch tips. This mildew-resistant selection developed at the United States National Arboretum grows about 8 to 10 feet tall and slightly wider. Enjoy the fall foliage color before the leaves drop away. Grow 'Hopi' in USDA Hardiness zones 6 through 9.

Site Selection

All crape myrtles relish exposure to lots of direct sunlight. To ensure it grows evenly and with best form and flowering, choose a location that receives no less than six hours of sun daily. Any non-alkaline (pH less than 7.5) soil that is moist but well-draining is essential; soggy soils or those that flood will cause the Hopi crape myrtle to be short-lived. Only after the root system establishes does the Hopi demonstrate good drought tolerance.


Since Hopi grows into a rounded shape, about 8 by 8 feet, do not plant it closer than 5 feet away from a building foundation or other shrub. Allow it to grow unimpeded and uncrowded. Low-growing perennials or ground cover plants can grow at the base of Hopi. In regions with cold winters, Hopi's above-ground stems likely will be killed back to the ground, especially in USDA zone 6. This will cause regrowth each spring, resulting in a shrub that grows to only 4 or 5 feet tall and wide by the end of the summer. Space Hopi slightly closer to other shrubs or the sidewalk in zone 6.

Planting Hole

Container-grown Hopi plants may be planted anytime of year as long as the soil is workable and not frozen. Balled and burlapped plants fare better when planted when dormant without leaves in mid-autumn to early spring. Measure the root ball of the plant and dig a planting hole the same depth as the root ball but two to three times as wide. Do not amend the soil that is replaced into the planting hole as this encourages roots to only grow into the improved soil and not more widely outwards into the native soil.


Once planted, water the Hopi crape myrtle daily for the first two weeks, ensuring the root ball and surrounding soil remains moist, but never soggy. From the third week through the first three months, add 1-inch of irrigation water weekly and from the third through sixth month add 1-inch of water every two to three weeks based on natural rainfall occurrences. Never allow the root ball to get too dry during periods of drought during the first two years after transplant. Applying an organic mulch layer around the planting hole benefits the plant by conserving moisture, cooling the summer soil and reducing weed or lawn competition. Extend the 3- to 4-inch mulch layer out at least 2 feet from the Hopi in all directions, but keep the mulch itself 3 inches away from the trunk.

Keywords: Lagerstroemia Hopi, Hopi crape myrtle, planting crape myrtles

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for "The Public Garden," "Docent Educator," non-profit newsletters and for horticultural databases, becoming a full-time writer in 2008. He holds a Master of Science in public horticulture from the University of Delaware and studied horticulture and biology in Australia at Murdoch University and the University of Melbourne.