Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

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Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

Post  Tom Simonyi on Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:47 pm

I acquired a crepe myrtle this spring (May 2012) from southern Louisiana. My location is in Zone 6 (U.S.). I know Jim Lewis leaves his myrtles outside all year around in North Carolina....I am somewhat reluctant to do this (at least this year) for this tree, as it has only been in this climate now for about five months. I am thinking that I should bring it indoors with my other tropicals after a few moderate frosts (28-32 degrees F).

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Tom

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Re: Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

Post  JudyB on Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:03 pm

Hi Tom,
I'm in zone 5 and I keep mine in a cold greenhouse environment, before I had that option, I placed them in an unheated garage with good results. In my zone, even ground planted crapes die back to roots, so I couldn't leave them outside. I do not know if you might get away with it in zone 6, but I do not think you want to bring it inside for the winter. Some sort of protected outdoor environment will be the best option.

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Re: Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:33 pm

Tom,

in the West Indies [ Caribbean ] crepe myrtle lives outdoors all year round. Even the 3, I brought in from the US and the 1 from Florence, Italy [ zone 7, I believe ]

The shrub is in bloom all year round, placement is full sun.
Hope that helps with the dormancy requirement.
Khaimraj

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Re: Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

Post  JimLewis on Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:53 pm

I think I'd put that Louisiana tree in a cold garage, or a cold porch for the winter. They will lose their leaves eventually (interesting to see if you get any color out of a southern tree this winter), and won't need light -- tho they'll still need a little water.

Maybe get them out in very early spring in hopes that you can keep them out longer next year and eventually all year long.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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crepe myrtle dormancy requirement

Post  moyogijohn on Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:04 am

Tom,,, I also started a crepe this year,,nursery stock.. I put all my outside trees in a little green house in winter.. I think JIM does leave his outside,most of them anyway.. I really don,t think inside is a good idea but i am not sure.. can you keep it in the garage maybe ?? Jim will know he has some really nice ones.. good luck take care john

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Re: Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

Post  Zach Smith on Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:31 am

Tom Simonyi wrote:I acquired a crepe myrtle this spring (May 2012) from southern Louisiana. My location is in Zone 6 (U.S.). I know Jim Lewis leaves his myrtles outside all year around in North Carolina....I am somewhat reluctant to do this (at least this year) for this tree, as it has only been in this climate now for about five months. I am thinking that I should bring it indoors with my other tropicals after a few moderate frosts (28-32 degrees F).

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Tom
The unheated garage would be the way to go. You'll get your dormancy without freezing the tree to death. We have winters here where temps don't go below 25F, and others where we'll get pretty frigid (for us), in the teens. The crapes don't seem to mind either way.

Here's a link to info on cold hardiness for some crape varieties:

http://www.springrunplants.com/hardiness_chart_28.html

Good luck!

Zach

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Re: Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

Post  Tom Simonyi on Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:52 pm

Thank you all so much for the information (and for the hardiness chart link, Zach!). This all helps very much.
Jim: The tree is still on my outdoor benches and the fall color has been really nice - very deep red with some yellow...the leaves have been falling steadily, but there is still a good bit of foliage left on the tree....we have not yet experienced temperatures below the low 40's.....this weekend forecasts are calling for lows in the mid-30's. Again, my sincere thanks to you all.

Tom

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Re: Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:23 pm



I'm with Zach. Don't treat it like a tender tropical.

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Re: Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

Post  JimLewis on Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:04 pm

I'd agree, except perhaps this year. His tree just moved from Louisiana to West Virginia. I think it merits some winter protection.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

Post  Zach Smith on Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:45 am

Tom Simonyi wrote:Thank you all so much for the information (and for the hardiness chart link, Zach!). This all helps very much.
Jim: The tree is still on my outdoor benches and the fall color has been really nice - very deep red with some yellow...the leaves have been falling steadily, but there is still a good bit of foliage left on the tree....we have not yet experienced temperatures below the low 40's.....this weekend forecasts are calling for lows in the mid-30's. Again, my sincere thanks to you all.

Tom
Tom, I think what you can take from the chart is don't let your crape get below 10F, which is above the limit for the poorest performer. If it were me I'd make my limit even a little higher. Don't see how you could go wrong.

Zach

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Re: Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:56 pm




JimLewis wrote:I'd agree, except perhaps this year. His tree just moved from Louisiana to West Virginia. I think it merits some winter protection.


You're right, it does merit some winter protection. Cold garage winter protection, not ficus or buttonwood winter protection.

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Re: Crepe Myrtle dormancy requirement?

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