The Crepe Myrtle is a subtropical deciduous tree with beautiful pink, white or purple flowers and smooth beige dappled peeling bark.

The Crepe Myrtle is native to subtropical regions of Asia and Australia and grows as a deciduous tree or shrub. It produces beautiful pink, white or purple flowers with crinkled petals. The trunk has a smooth beige dappled bark which peels each year when the trunk gets thicker. The leaves are oval, simple and can be alternating or opposite. In autumn the leaves turn yellow and orange-red before they fall. The Crepe Myrtle can endure a little frost but it is advisable to protect it from frost, especially if it is planted in a container.

If you need help identifying your tree, try our Bonsai tree identification guide.



Specific Bonsai care guidelines for the Crepe Myrtle

Placement: Place the tree in full sun which encourages flowering and prevents fungal diseases and insect attacks. The Crepe Myrtle likes humid conditions. In warm climates the Crepe Myrtle can be kept outside all year through. In temperate climates it is better to transfer the tree to a cool but frost-free place.

Watering: During the growth period the Crepe Myrtle needs a lot of water and must not dry out. Try to provide sufficient humidity. Water less in winter during dormancy.

Fertilizing: Use a liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season. You can also apply a solid organic fertilizer.

Pruning and wiring: Prune the tree at the end of the summer season. This will encourage bud production for the following year. Wiring is possible but precautions should be taken not to damage the beautiful bark of the Crepe Myrtle. Wrap Paper or tape around the wire before winding it around the branches and remove the wire in time. Whenever possible, use guy-wires instead.

Repotting: Repot the Crepe Myrtle every two or three years. Use a soil mix containing two-fifths organic ingredients. You can also add some organic fertilizer to the soil to promote healthy growth.

Propagation: The Crepe Myrtle can be propagated from seeds and cuttings.

Pests and diseases: Sometimes the Crepe Myrtle is bothered by aphids. Use a specific insecticide or wash the insects off with a strong water jet. Mildew is a more serious problem which occurs quite often. Spray your Crepe Myrtle with a specific fungicide in that case.

For more detailed information on these techniques, try our Bonsai tree care section.



Crepe Myrtle Bonsai (Lagerstroemia indica, by Adam Lavigne)

Crepe Myrtle Bonsai