planting crape myrtle
Is it too late to plant a crape myrtle in zone 6b, Eastern panhandle of West Virginia? Husband bought me a crape myrtle a few weeks ago. If I cannot put in ground till spring, how do I care for it over the winter?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Do you have a cold hardy variety of Crepe Myrtle?
Lagarstroemia fauriei is reliable to Zone 6. Most varieties are only hardy to Zone 7 and even then a cold winter will many times die back the tree to the ground.
The good news is they are capable of growing back in a short time, but since Crepe Myrtle bloom on old growth, you likely will not have flowers.
Plant in a sheltered area but avoid planting near a structure on a South facing location, this can actually cause the tree to break dormancy during warm spells in winter. This will most likely harm or kill the tree.
I would leave the tree potted and put in a sheltered location that will remain a constant temperature for the winter. A garage or shed.
Add some insulation around the pot. Check through out the winter to make sure the soil has not dried out completely. Add some mulch to the top of the soil to help.