“Ecology is the study of relationships among organisms and between organisms and their surroundings, let us see the interconnections and processes that really make up “the environment” and give us a more fundamental reason to protect it”
Ernest Callenbach

A Favorite for Long Lasting Blooms

When we encourage our pollinators, we are protecting our habitats and encouraging diversity. I love Lagerstroemias (Crape Myrtles) for just this reason and the best part is the long-lasting beautiful summer blooms for attracting pollinators. And this means up to 120 days in the heat of the summer when most things are brown and died back! It’s a good idea to setup drip lines but they are extremely heat and drought tolerant once established.

An old garden client of mine had some lovely Largerstroemias surrounding their gazebo, which gave a good contrast of unique bark against the black painted railings. It also offered privacy with their fast growth habit of 1-3 feet per year (until maturity). These trees are also a great choice for near a sidewalk or a patio due to having a shallow root system.

Keep in mind if you’re having trouble with the plant blooming, it is possible it’s due to improper or lack of pruning. An easy way to remember pruning time is similar to roses think Valentine’s day! If the new leaves have just started to emerge on your Crape Myrtle tree, it’s still okay to go ahead and prune. Lagerstroemia’s will only bloom on new growth. Also, remove old blooms a seed pods to extend the blooming season. (This is typically done in July, August, and September.)

I could write an entire blog post on pruning but if you remember these simple tips you will have abundant blooms. You definitely don’t want to be called a “Crape Murder!” This refers to the aggressive pruning technique of Crape Myrtles. This technique is used by landscapers and home gardeners because it’s quick and easy. The plant almost always recovers but it is certainly not a good option because you could damage the plant.

Many newer varieties are proven disease resistant and if you are looking for a few easy to maintain shrubs that grow very well in the Willamette Valley look no further. All of these options will suit any landscape and keep your pollinators happy. We often have varieties like Arapaho (gorgeous red), Enduring Summer (vibrant red), and Catawba (purple) and more at our Corner Store Nursery- stop in today to see what’s available!

Written by Karen Smith, Lane Forest Products Plant Specialist

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