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.
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.
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.
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.
Feed the crape myrtle an all-purpose blooming tree fertilizer during the first season. Follow the packaging instructions carefully.
Keep the area evenly moist but never wet or soggy throughout the first growing season.
Trim the round, green seed pods from the petite orchid crape myrtle as soon as the flowers fade after the first bloom flush.
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.
Things You Will Need
- Humus (optional)
- All-purpose blooming tree fertilizer
- Crape myrtles that have been grown in containers do much better when planted while they're actively growing during the summer.
- Fertilizing the crape myrtle won't be necessary once the shrub is well established.
- Don't prune in early fall before the first frost. This will encourage the plant to set new growth and prevent it from entering dormancy. A hard freeze may kill the petite orchid crape myrtle if it hits before the plant has gone dormant.
- Crape myrtles don't like wet feet. Once established, they require only occasional, supplemental watering during the hottest summer dry spells.