The watering

Lagerstroemia, also known as crepe myrtle, is a deciduous plant native to China and Korea. Different species are cultivated, from the more widespread Lagerstroemia indica, with the typical smooth gray-brown trunk, to Lagerstroemia speciosa, which in nature reaches heights of 20-25 m. Other varieties suitable for cultivation are the dwarf Lagerstroemia, with a maximum height of 90 cm and also suitable for interiors, and the very rustic Lagerstroemia rosea. These and other species are distinguished by their showy and long blooms, from June to October, with colors ranging from white to red, passing through a delicate pink and a bright crimson. Another valuable peculiarity of the adult lagerstroemia plant is that the trunk flakes off in winter, thus showing pleasant contrasts between the gray of the bark and the underlying tissues. that change from light brown to pink. The water needs of the many varieties are similar. Irrigation of lagerstroemia, in the hot season, must ensure a moderate but constant soil humidity rate. In fact, this plant fears water stagnation such as drought (which causes the loss of buds). In winter, however, keep the soil semi-dry.

Cultural care

To grow a lagerstroemia it is good to use soil consisting of 70% peat and 30% clay, in order to guarantee it adequate nourishment and at the same time avoid water stagnation. The plant can be grown in large pots as in the garden, but in the first case it must be repotted in early spring: every other year in the case of young specimens and every 3-4 years for adults. Pay attention, during the operation, to leave a small loaf of earth around the roots, which are rather delicate. The pruning of the crepe myrtleit is essential to keep it vigorous and ensure its blooms. In spring it is necessary to prune the apical branches grown the previous year, for at least 2/3. Apart from this, depending on the shape you want to give to the plant (sapling, shrub or tree), any further cuts will be necessary. Finally, vigorous autumn pruning is required if lagerstroemia is admitted to a cold greenhouse or home. The multiplication is carried out with spring sowing or cutting. In the first case it is necessary to calculate the slow growth of the plant. The cutting is done in August, taking branches of 15 cm, to be placed in a humid mixture of peat and sand.

How to fertilize

To keep lagerstroemia in the best conditions it is essential to provide it with adequate fertilization. In spring, a slow release granular fertilizer will be used, to be renewed every 3-4 months, or, alternatively, with a liquid fertilizer, to be diluted in irrigation water on a weekly basis. The best product to provide nourishment to this plant is a specific fertilizer for flowering plants, and as always the rule applies that the specimens planted in pots have greater needs, as they cannot spread the roots like the specimens placed in the garden. Furthermore, since lagerstroemia loves very fertile soils, in autumn it is necessary to spread mature manure at the base of the plant. Repeat the operation every year, even when the specimen is an adult.

Lagerstroemia: Exposure, diseases and remedies

When planting lagerstroemia it must be considered that this plant, to produce its generous blooms, requires exposure in full sun, and if possible sheltered from the wind. In winter it is not a problem to leave it outdoors, it also tolerates temperatures well below zero, down to -15 ° C. If it is necessary to store it indoors, place it in a dark place. Despite being a robust plant, lagerstroemia fears aphids and powdery mildew. For the former, various remedies are available, from natural ones, which can also be used preventively (concentrated infusion of tea, nettle, pyrethrum) to more aggressive remedies such as pyrethroids or broad spectrum insecticides. However, it should be considered that insecticides are pollutants and are usually contraindicated during flowering periods. For powdery mildew, or white sickness,

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