Lagerstromia indica 'Catawba'
superb mid sized Crape Myrtle selection with nice dark purple blooms
in mid to late summer ( typically July thru September ). Foliage is very dark green throughout the
season, turning bright red in the fall. Good sturdy growth habit - slightly more globose in habit than many other Crapes. Has shown good resistance to powdery mildew. This variety is definitely one of the more popular of all the Crape Myrtles we grow & offer. Good growth rate, and excellent bloom production.
Removal of expired flower heads will oftentimes prolong & increase the duration of blooms - sometimes well into early October in many areas of the country. Yearly pruning should be performed - typically in either early fall, or in very late winter ( just before bud break in the spring ). We recommend pruning branches back to the point where they are the diameter of approximately 1/2" - 3/4" on more established specimens .......Certainly no larger in diameter than 3/4". Pruning will be much less in very young specimens for the first 2 - 3 seasons. Yearly pruning will spur additional branching habit the following season which, in turn, will spur on a maximum amount of blooms year after year since blooms are always produced at the ends of the current years' new growth. This is one of the main reason we suggest removal of old expired blooms to help prolong production of new blooms.
Plant Facts & Specifications
Mature Height: 10 ft ( sometimes as tall as 12 ft )
Mature Width: 8 - 12 ft : widest at the crown / canopy
Growth rate: Moderate to fast ( 12 - 18" avg per yr )
Hardiness Zones: 7 - 10 - As with all Crape Myrtles, will suffer branch dieback at temps
below 15 degrees.
Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade - blooms best in full sun.
Soil Preference: Average to slightly moist & fertile - well drained.
Foliage Color & Texture: Good dark green foliage with a rather glossy finish - fall color is very nice red color.
Flower, Cone, Or Berry Facts: Nice dark purple blooms typically starting in July, and lasting well into the latter part of September. Blooms leave behind a 1/4"- 1/2" diameter seed capsule which will oftentimes persist all the way through winter. Each seed capsule consists of 6 individual "compartments" - each contains many long, winged seeds.
Diseases / Insects: Powdery mildew, black spot, sooty mold, tip blight, leaf spot (Cercospora spp. are the causal agents), Botryosphaeria canker, root rot, aphids, Japanese beetle, Asian ambrosia beetle and Florida wax scale are all problems that have been reported with Crape Myrtles. The most common problems encountered are powdery mildew, black spot, and aphids. Regular inspections, and treatments ( when necessary ), should be performed periodically throughout the growing season, so as to not allow any serious problems to take hold.
Fertilization / Feeding: For maximum health & hardiness, we highly recommend a good grade granular ( preferably organic ) fertilizer / plant food for use with all of our plant species. We personally use, and recommend the Espoma line of organic plant foods, as they are super effective yet gentle enough to use on even the most delicate of evergreen species where fertilizer burn would normally be a major concern. However, a water soluble type plant food (Miracle Gro, or equivalent ) are also acceptable options. Other granular fertilizers with a 6 - 12 - 12, or 10 - 10 - 10 ratio can also be used - but we suggest using them at 1/2 - 3/4 strength to avoid any chemical burn issues to the root system of the plants. Best to fertilize in early spring, and again in mid fall - avoid feeding standard chemical fertilizers during hot summer months, and directly after transplanting. The Espoma Organic Plant Foods may be used at anytime.