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The Kräuselmyrte also called Kreppmyrte or Lagerströmie, is a ornamental plant with a strikingly beautiful summer bloom. The color palette of crepe myrtle is very remarkable. Here you will learn interesting facts about this extraordinary plant as well as useful care hints and tips for the right winter.
China's beautiful import
In subtropical climes, the curly myrtle has long been a commonly used ornamental plant. In this country it was known for a long time as cold plant. In the meantime, however, it has become apparent that the corminned myrtle can also be cultivated outdoors in milder regions in Germany in the long term. Incidentally, the term ruffle myrtle refers to the petals. In the lower part, they are extremely narrow, are wide at the top and curl there very strong. Their enemies include the aphid and moisture.
The name Lagerströmie was given to the crepe myrtle by its discoverer Magnus Lagerstroem. He discovered the plant in India and sent it to Sweden for identification. As an ornamental tree, the curly-myrtle is particularly used in Asia, explicitly in China, as its beauty holds throughout the year. Belonging is the deciduous tree to the family of the Weiderichgewächse. About 22 genera and about 450 different species are known. These are divided into three different classes. The first is the Lagerstroemia indica (Indian lilac), the ornamental plant Lagerstroemia speciosa (very large flowers) and the Lagerstroemia angustifolia (Bang-Lang) with a smooth and hard bark. The latter is used for the production of rifle butts.
The curly myrtle has its heyday at the end of the summer until autumn, that is, from August to October. Depending on the culture, it can reach a height of more than two meters and becomes more and more beautiful as the years go by. In her prime, she trumps with a huge flower dress, which lasts for weeks. The colors are warm and discreet. The orange, yellow or even red coloring of the foliage takes place in autumn and during the winter months the bark appears blue-gray with a smooth texture. The flowers of crepe myrtle are small, are grape-like and terminal. The color spectrum ranges from purple, violet, red, numerous rose tones to pure white. Each individual flower also has a minimal golden yellow bouquet of stamens in the center. From Lagerströmie capsule fruits are produced, which are normally dark, round and small. The capsule fruits contain some winged seeds. The fruits have a narcotic effect and are not edible.
From tropical regions come the prettiest species of curling myrtle. Adapted to our climate are about 30 hybrid species. Mature trees can even withstand enormous temperatures down to -15° C. But they achieve a refined flowering at higher temperatures and in lush sunlight. The location should be protected from the wind and sunny, as this particular plant loves the sun. Optimal growth results are achieved on particularly damp and neutral surfaces. Furthermore, the soil should be well drained, loose and deep. Avoid waterlogging. If you want to replant or replant your crepe myrtle, the right technique depends on the local climatic conditions. In mild areas, the plant should optimally after planting leaves in the fall, or planted. Spring (frost-free), on the other hand, is the right season in regions where temperatures drop lower. If you keep your Lagerströmie in the pot, it is in any case to protect against frost. When planting the root is placed in an approximately 15 cm thick layer, which consists of either:
- pine needles
- half rotted compost
- or pods of cocoa beans
The optimal location for your plant is completely free of shadows and especially warm. A south facing balcony or garden is perfect. During the summer time, the curly myrtle is poured daily full. If the days are extremely hot, do not pour the plant until the evening. During the flowering phase, fertilize your stock flow once a month. Each year in February or March you cut back the supporting shoots quite a bit. Tip: Count the eyes on the branches. With four to six eyes, the branch has the optimal length of about 8 to 15 cm. On the trunk appearing buds and root shoots should be removed, because the crepe myrtle grows primarily bushy.Pay attention to the side shoots if you want to keep the plant as a tree.
While cleaning your crop remove the very small branches and twigs. This promotes the circulation of air and the flowering remains well-sealed. In spring, you can supply your plant with rose fertilizer. To do this, bring the fertilizer into the soil as close as possible to the trunk. You can make a seeding of crepe myrtle, however, an increase by half lignified cuttings or green cuttings is more likely to be recommended, since the chances of success are guaranteed. When you grow from seed, the shrubs often do not flower for a period of three to five years. While plants from cuttings bloom after about two years.
The curly myrtle is particularly susceptible to mildew, due to cool-humid weather, especially in spring. The leaves turn whitish and lose their shape. However, they can then treat your plant with rose preservative or sulfur. Have formed on the leaves of your plant, the summer orange pimples, it is an infestation of rust. With a broad spectrum fungicide you can help your plant in this case.
The crepe myrtle is only partially winterized and should be kept much cooler and darker in winter. The ideal temperature is about 0 to 5° C room temperature. The need for light is very low in the winter, since the crown is free of leaves from autumn. In your container plant keep a uniform soil moisture. In the garden specimens need in winter normally no watering. Tip: Make a shade of the branches, for example, hang them in spruce. To prevent cracks in the bark, which can be caused by extreme temperature fluctuations. With a neatly strong layer of autumn leaves you cover the root area of your curly myrtle, which has an insulating effect. Brighten up again at the beginning of spring to promote the production of shoots.
frequently asked Questions
- Why does my tub plant lose its buds? - It may be that you have moved or twisted your crepe myrtle too much. The plant reacts very sensitively and can thereby lose its buds.
- How exactly do I cut back? - The curly myrtle is not cut back on the old wood. They only cut at the shoot ends the one-year and grown branches from the same year. The crown, on the other hand, cut back once a year towards late winter, falling back sharply.
Lagerstroemia indica and Lagerstroemia chekiangensis are among the varieties that can survive up to -18° C in winter without freezing. Hardy crepe myrtles are also commercially available as Tuscan lilac in various shades of color. The similarity to the lilac can actually not be denied, especially since the flower colors of the 15-40 cm long Blütenrispen also resemble those of the lilac. Since these varieties were preferred name designations of Indian tribes, is sometimes spoken of the Indian lilac. Older creame myrtles are generally much more resistant to cold than young plants.
As an upright-growing shrub with a roundish crown, corminned myrtles prefer a particularly warm and sunny position. In front of a white house wall, the magnificent shrub not only looks extremely good, the wall exudes additional heat on the plant. Wind gusts are not tolerated, so a sheltered place should be selected.
Tips for the care of winter-hard crepe myrtle
- Especially in the Kübelhaltung before re-pouring the upper layer of soil should always be a little dried, because waterlogging gets a crepe myrtle not at all.
- The substrate must not contain lime, because it is not tolerated.
- Commercial garden soil meets the requirements of crepe myrtle.
- Liquid fertilizer in a 4-week cycle provides all the necessary nutrients.
- Crepe myrtle should not be transplanted often.
- Regular vigorous bleaching promotes growth.
Since the winter hardiness in the various crepe myrtle species can vary greatly, should be paid to the purchase on the frost resistance. For outdoor hibernation, only the predestined varieties are suitable. Since the hardy crepe myrtles have only a conditional frost hardiness, extremely rough areas pose a problem. A cold hothouse for wintering there would be a good solution. In a rather mild situation, such as in winegrowing regions, winter frost protection from deciduous mulch and twigs of coniferous trees should not be missing despite certified frost hardness.
The increasingly popular with us Lagerstroemia enchanted the garden in the summer into the fall in a holiday paradise. Hardy crepe myrtles can stay out even over the cold months.