Crape myrtles may seem ubiquitous in north Texas gardens, but recent hybrids offer dwarf forms, bi-color flowers, colorful foliage, and more. If you think you’ve seen them all, think again. With many north Texas gardeners looking for a solution plant to replace their beloved Knock Out® Roses that have succumbed to Rose Rosette Disease, it’s time to give these durable, heat-tolerant beauties another chance.
Among the most promising of the dwarf hybrids is the ‘Little Princess’ series from Garden Debut. Developed by Crape enthusiast Dow Whiting, these four petite beauties are named after his grandchildren, and each has a distinct personality and something to add to your landscape:
Princess Holly Ann™ (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘GA 0701′) is a true dwarf with a mounding form to 2.5-3′ tall x same width. Her blooms are bright cherry-red and are produced in profusion throughout the warm season; additionally, foliage is deep green with new growth a coppery tone and winter foliage an attractive purple color.
Princess Lyla™ (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘GA 0804’) is the most diminutive in the group at just 1.5-2′ by same. Dusted with shortened racemes of pale pink, crepe paper like blooms, she’s well-suited to containers and smaller bed plantings. The deep green foliage turns golden in the late fall, and the bloom can be increased with regular deadheading.
Princess Kylie™ (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘GA 0803′) is a bit taller in stature with a height and spread up to 3.5′ or so. Her blossoms are produced in profusion in two main flushes–summer and fall–but their magenta-pink color can be encouraged for additional flushes with deadheading. As an additional benefit, the grayish-green foliage has a unique undulating form that compliments the vivid color of the blooms.
Princess Zoey™ (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘GA 0702′) is a favorite with deep green, shiny leaves that sport a reddish cast in autumn. Best of all, the deep magenta-pink flowers are sprinkled with light pink crepe flowers that create a festive, bi-color raceme. These are reblooming and as with the others, deadheading helps promote increased bloom. ‘Zoey’ is especially unique and is suited to containers and bed plantings where colorful annuals can provide a foundation to her 3.5′ x same form.
Each of these petite beauties can be planted en masse for a sea of color or tucked into beds and other foundation plantings where they get plenty of sun. Enjoy their small stature in containers, too, where underplantings can add multiple layers of texture, color and interest.
Stop in to NHG this week to meet them all in person!