Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

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Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  Gentleman G. on Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:08 am

Apparently they're a dwarf/shrub variety. I was at Lowe's today buying concrete for an artificial slab project an couldn't help but enter through the plant area Rolling Eyes I hadn't seen this variety before and they look pretty nice. Anybody have any experience with these?

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  coh on Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:59 pm

I have no direct experience growing them, but I've seen the pre-bonsai plants that Bill Valavanis stocks (he has used them for classes and workshops, so hopefully someone else here is growing one). They have pretty nice trunks considering their size...they look like they could make good bonsai.

Chris

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  Gentleman G. on Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:18 pm

Yeah, the trunks are pretty nice on the ones that I saw too. Not pre-bonsai, but pretty nice still. And for $15 USD, I just might have to give one a go. And if Bill is growing them as pre-bonsai, they must be worth giving a shot. Thanks for the feedback, coh.

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:05 pm

There are a LOT of new "dazzle" crape myrtles. This year it's "Razzle." A couple of years ago it was "Cherry Dazzle." I got one of those. It's still in the works, but it has nice small leaves. The bark color on the Dazzles is nothing to write home about tho.

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  Gentleman G. on Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:44 pm

I agree, Jim. The bark/root base almost has a Boxwood like appearance to it. Hadn't really thought about it till you said something, but now that you mention it I don't see how I missed it! I still think I may go pick one up, just to mess around with. I didn't see any of the "dazzles" flowering yet when most other Crape Myrtles around here are full of flowers. Are they pretty late bloomers typically?

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:14 pm

Dunno. Haven't let mine bloom.

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  momcat66 on Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:02 am

I bought one today. The one I got actually has a pretty thick trunk and some nebari starting. I am VERY new to bonsai so am buying plants (mostly clearance) left and right in the hopes of turning them into bonsai one day.

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  jonkatzmail on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:24 am

When I went to the National Arboretum they had a display that showed how someone turned a Crepe Myrtle bush into a bonsai, so I went looking for a crepe myrtle and couldn't find anything remotely resembling the bush they started out with when the bonsai was made. But I bought a plain white one I found with a stem thicker than the others and that had a few branches instead of a few sticks stuck in the ground. You can only grow them two Hardiness Zones higher (7) than where I live (5) so that is gonna be a problem, but I have some hope that I can do something with it if I can keep it alive. Washington, DC was full of crepe myrtles with orange peeling trunks so that would look good I think. I am supposed to wait until the leaves fall off before I prune it so its stronger next year, right?

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Crape Myrtle Update

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:18 am

What arrangements do you have for wintering your other hardy bonsai? I winter my tiny 'Chickasaw' in the sunporch with my other temperate trees. Korean hornbeam also is listed for Zone 7. My aim is to keep the trees between 25 F and 45 F. I have a heater for cold nights, & when it gets too warm I frantically open the windows.
Just don't try to keep temperate trees indoors.
Last winter while I was recovering from surgery my husband or I neglected to close the window or turn on the heater one night. My tiny Chickasaw, my Korean hornbeams, and a couple of miniature roses froze.
Now I'm trying a Raspberry Dazzle. Cherry Dazzle belongs to the same group.
And yes, the dwarf cultivars, which are a cross between Lagerstroemia indica and L. fauriei, bloom later than the standard ones.
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:14 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : update, additional info)

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:01 pm

This is my "Cherry Dazzle." It's been overpotted, and needs more root removed, but it's doing OK for its first year in something other than a nursery pot. It often is difficult to find crape myrtle with a single trunk, but if you persevere there usually will be one or two. This one still shows a number of major faults that future pruning will have to eliminate. It is likely to end up being a much smaller bonsai.

As I mentioned earlier, the bark on this one isn't very interesting. Unless other "dazzles" turn up with more interesting bark, I may not get any others.


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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  coh on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:19 pm

The "dazzles" I've seen locally are probably about the same size as this. The bark isn't particularly interesting, at least not like the larger crepe myrtles I remember from Virginia - but I do find the trunks attractive.. Bark has a nice color and the bases seem to develop nice roots and buttressing (like this one has). Maybe that's the best that can be done with these varieties? Or maybe the bark gets more interesting as the trees mature. I guess these trees are relatively new introductions so there probably aren't too many larger, more mature specimens around...

Chris

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:54 pm

coh wrote:..maybe the bark gets more interesting as the trees mature. I guess these trees are relatively new introductions so there probably aren't too many larger, more mature specimens around...


I think you hit the nail on the head. Probably too soon to be judging - and writing them off as inferior.

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  EdMerc on Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:22 pm

I have a "Razzle Dazzle" crepe. The trunk on mine is pitifully thin, but I didn't buy it for that. I was hoping to use it as graft material for some of my less interesting crepe trees.

The leaves are really small. Added bonus, they turn a sort of burgundy color at some point. I haven't seen flowers yet, but I'm pretty sure that they are deep pink.

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Razzle Dazzle Crape Myrtle

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:35 pm

Any more news on these? Some gardeners on GardenWeb report that the Razzle Dazzles refuse to bloom. How are they as bonsai?
Iris

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:46 pm

I have one ground growing at the mo, the bark takes a long time to mature but now it has it looks just like my larger crepes, ie at the moment is going thru bark peel.

I have found it to be alot later than my normal crepes & in some years its a total non bloomer.

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:08 pm

bonsaisr wrote:Any more news on these? Some gardeners on GardenWeb report that the Razzle Dazzles refuse to bloom. How are they as bonsai?
Iris

They seem to bloom late -- in late Aug-Sept. Maybe it's too late for you folks up north???

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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: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  Jkd2572 on Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:44 pm

I have one in a bonsai pot. Blooms like crazy if I let it. It may be something to do with our long seasons as it usually happens late August here. Another thing. You can get quick branch development in one season. They grow very fast. I truck chopped min this last spring and already have 5 to 6 years of secondary branches it one season just by clipping it back to two pairs of leaves all through the summer. Even when I do this a couple of flower buds will escape my scissors and I let them bloom. Very pretty bright pinkish/red flowers.

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

Post  Guest on Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:43 pm

As my Razzle has decided to flower this year I thought I would snap a pic.

Heres one of the regular kind in the background.

The razzle has been in development for 4yrs now, 2 in a pot where it did nothing & now 2 in the ground where growth has been solid but thickening is painfully slow. The other tree was planted as a small sucker 5yrs ago & is now starting to gain a treelike stance, the plan is to develop it into a natural looking triple trunk crepe instead of the usual coppiced look that seems to be about the only way you see them out here.

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Razzle Dazzle Crape Myrtle

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:53 pm

Update time. According to my previous notes here, I had a 'Raspberry Dazzle' in 2011, but I don't remember what happened to it. I suspect I sold it or gave it away because it was unpromising. Question
My present RD came from Bill V. in 2012. It wasn't cheap (no good bonsai material is) but it was already about 6 years old. I think it was a good price for the value. It had been in the nursery pot for 5 years. It has a nice fat single trunk. I wired it in 2013 into a low wide broom style. It looks like a miniature of the old Southern crape myrtles.
Last year I repotted it in June. It was still dormant & didn't leaf out until almost July. It didn't bloom, but I saw one in Rochester in August that had some flowers. The leaves have a nice color in the fall. This year I left it in dormancy until February, then put it under fluorescent lights in the plant room. It started sprouting a few days ago. I just went over it to remove excess shoots and dead leaves and twigs. If I were a real ipsy pipsy bonsai artist, I would keep pruning it this year to get ramification. But I'm 85 years old, dammit, and I want to see it bloom for our show in September. Mad
I see what you mean about the bark. The tree peels like a tourist, but there is no contrasting color. It is a subtle texture variation. Well, you can't have everything.
As you may have noticed, many garden cultivars these days have two official names. One is a trade name, in this case crape myrtle 'Raspberry Dazzle.' There is also its registered name with the cultivar registration authority, which is Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei 'Gamad II.' The registered name is usually an acronym or portmanteau word. In this case, Ga stands for the University of Georgia, where these hybrids are being developed. mad stands for Michael Dirr, who is in charge of the project. 'Raspberry Dazzle' is a seedling of 'Pokomoke,' an earlier hybrid. I believe it is patented.
Here is the picture. Sorry it isn't better, but we are not good photographers. I hope most of our foreign friends know the size of an American quarter. The pot is 8 inches, a bit over 20 cm.





A view of the bark.
Iris
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:17 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additional material, picture)

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Re: Anybody ever heard of or used "razzle dazzle" crape myrtles?

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