Crape Myrtle Choices For South Texas!

gillnurseryPlant Spotlight24 Comments

There are many different varieties of Crape Myrtles but a limited number that thrive in South Texas. With the proper cultivar and proper placement, they will provide color and form to your landscape for many years. They do love the sun and need a half a day of sunlight or more. All of the below varieties are drought tolerant once established and are mildew resistant. They all bloom clusters of crepe-like blooms.

Our favorites are:

(Listing From Tallest To Shortest)

Basham up to 30′ tall lavender-pink blooms
Natchez up to 25′ tall white blooms
Arapaho up to 20′ tall red blooms with maroon tinged foliage
Red Rocket up to 15′ tall ruby red blooms with dark green foliage
Dynamite up to 15′ tall fire red blooms
Catawba up to 15′ tall purple blooms
Zuni up to 12′ tall purple blooms
Tonto 8′-10′ tall dark red blooms
Hopi up to 10′ tall light pink blooms
Ebony Flame up to 10′ tall dark foliage with red blooms
Ebony Ivory up to 10′ tall dark foliage with white blooms


Natchez, Basham, Dynamite

*Please note – most dwarf varieties do not do well in our area without pampering.

From the above, the Basham Party Pink Crape Myrtle  provides the fastest and  most shade, growing up to 30′ tall.

When selecting your variety, make sure you give it plenty of space, height and width. As with all trees, trim as needed to eliminate branches from rubbing against each other and prune off lower “twiggy” growth, but do not “top” prune. If you purchase a Crape Myrtle as a young plant, you can select which trunks you want to keep and get rid of the rest to give it the form you want it to have as a mature plant.

It’s a wonder to watch Crape Myrtles go from ordinary to extraordinary in a matter of days as they start blooming in late spring. Look down most neighborhood streets to find a multiple of white, pinks, reds and purples high above homes. Crape Myrtles are a beautiful long-lived addition to your landscape. They are cold hardy, great color for summer, provide fall colored foliage and interesting bark (exfoliating), and drought tolerant once established.

We think Crape Myrtles are a winner for landscapes and will give you years of enjoyment!


-Sally & Debbie




24 Comments on “Crape Myrtle Choices For South Texas!”

  1. Thank you for the information. I love Crape Myrtles. I live in Rockport and had one for several years, but it did not make it. When should you plant a young Crape Myrtle? Is right now okay. The heat is already here so early in the season.

  2. Lu, you can plant a crape myrtle now if you are present to water through summer. We have just started watering ours twice a day, early morning and early afternoon. They will need water every day for a few weeks then three times a week for a few weeks then twice a week through the first summer. If you will be away during summer, you might wait til October, if planted then you will still need to water regularly but not so frequently. Selection will not be as broad then since they will soon go dormant, but we will always have 2 or 3 of our best varieties.

    1. Sorry Mary, just saw your question. The variety determines the color. There may be two or more varieties with a similar shade of pink, or red, or white, but usually with different heights, or different fall color, or something else.

    1. Sandra, it is best to slow or stop watering in the fall to allow plants to go dormant for winter. But for newly planted plants, do water weekly or biweekly if you have not had a substantial rain.

  3. purchased a Basham Crepe myrtle on 10/9 and started the watering schedule, i.e. everyday (5 gal), then as you are aware it started raining daily, and I did not want to overwate r(afraid of root rot) with the cooler weather and still some rain in the forecast, how do I tell if its too much ?

    1. You want to replace water right in the rootball as it is lost, so that will be days that are either sunny or windy, or both. Rainy days will not need watering, but if it rains one day but is sunny and breezy the next, I would water a little even though there may be water in the gutter or on the ground. As time goes by and the roots spread, you want to water less frequently, but over a larger area. Also as it loses its leaves this fall/winter it will need less frequent watering, but still maybe once every two weeks when cold but with no rain.

  4. Hi. I want to plant three Crape Myrtles in a row along the driveway. I was thinking of going with the Basham, but they might get to big. I didn’t see Muskogee in your list. Does that one not perform very well? I live in the Rio Grande Valley.

    1. Muskogee does fine, and I will be planting 4 of those on Tuesday. It is a strong and vigorous one, but not quite as large as Basham. It has a long bloom season, and nice fall color if the temperatures cooperate.

    1. Conny, sorry I did not see this til now. We had poor response with Tuscarora. Beautiful color, but they struggled and died over the first couple of years.

  5. We are thinking about removing a grapefruit tree from our backyard and replacing with a crape myrtle. Do you do tree planting? Do you travel outside the Corpus Christe region to plant a tree? We live in McAllen, TX 78501. Any recommendations? Cost?

    1. Ken, we only go to surrounding communities, McAllen is too far. There are several garden centers in RGV. I don’t know enough to recommend, but I know of Valley Garden Center and Tree of Life.

  6. I am looking for a yellow crepe myrtle. I bought some clippings on Etsy and it is growing leaves, but I would like to buy an actual plant, any ideas on where to buy one. I live in Houston Texas.

    1. It will be interesting to see what your cuttings come out to be. There is no yellow crapemyrtle on the market, none that I can purchase or have ever seen.

  7. We planted a Red Rocket six years ago. It blooms every year, but has not gotten over 2 feet tall! What did we do wrong?

    1. That’s certainly unusual that it hasn’t grown more than that. The red cultivars are known to grow slower, but not that slow. If you’re confident that its getting good overhead sun and you’re fertilizing and watering well, then you may want to replace it with a different variety.

  8. Can you tell me if crape myrtle is chain sawed down to stump ground level will it grow back I want it dead no more growing as i planted it in the wrong spot.

  9. 2 options: you either need to dig the stump out of the ground or cut it off at ground level, drill some holes in it, and apply brush and stump killer into the holes.

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