Crepe myrtles are beautiful trees that can add a lot of color to a yard, but they can be a little underwhelming when they’re the only tree in the landscape.
Underplanting crepe myrtle with smaller shrubs or perennials can help to fill out the space around them and make them look even more impressive.
Additionally, underplanting can provide some extra shade for the crepe myrtle in the summer, which will help keep it cooler and may help to prevent sunscald.
Some good plants to underplant crepe myrtles with include:
- Dwarf mums
If you find a good plant that’s not on this list, don’t be afraid to try it out. Just make sure that it doesn’t get too big, or it will start to crowd out the crepe myrtle.
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The perfect underplanting for other trees
Crepe myrtles make beautiful additions to any landscape, with their showy flowers and graceful branches.
But what many people don’t realize is that they can also be used as underplants for larger trees. By planting a crepe myrtle under a taller tree, you can create an attractive and balanced landscape design.
- Crepe myrtles are available in a wide variety of colors, so you can choose one that will complement the color of your taller tree.
- Crepe myrtles have a moderate growth rate, so they won’t overtake the taller tree.
- Crepe myrtles are drought-tolerant plants, so they will thrive even if the soil around them is dry.
- Crepe myrtles bloom throughout the summer, providing season-long interest in your landscape design.
- Crepe myrtles are relatively low-maintenance plants, requiring only occasional pruning to keep them looking their best.
When selecting a crepe myrtle for underplanting, look for a variety that is suitable for the climate in your area.
Crepe myrtles are available in both deciduous and evergreen varieties, so you can choose one that will best suit your landscape design.
If you live in an area with hot summers, look for a heat-tolerant variety. If you live in an area with cold winters, look for a winter-hardy variety.
When planting a crepe myrtle under a taller tree, be sure to plant it at least 2 feet away from the trunk of the taller tree. This will give the crepe myrtle room to grow without damaging the roots of the taller tree.
It’s also important to choose a spot that receives full sun, as crepe myrtles need at least 6 hours of sunlight each day to bloom properly.
Once you’ve selected the perfect spot, dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of your crepe myrtle.
Carefully remove the plant from its container, being careful not to damage the roots.
Place the plant in the hole, making sure that the top of the root ball is even with the ground surface.
Fill in the hole with soil, tamping it down gently around the base of the plant.
Water the plant deeply, being sure to saturate the root ball.
Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant, being careful not to pile it up against the trunk.
Crepe myrtles are generally low-maintenance plants, but they will need regular watering during their first growing season. After that, they will only need supplemental water during periods of extended drought.
Fertilizing crepe myrtles is not necessary, but you can apply a slow-release fertilizer in early spring if you want to encourage lush growth.
Pruning is also not necessary, but you may want to trim off any dead or damaged branches in late winter or early spring.
With just a little care, your crepe myrtle will thrive and provide beauty and balance to your landscape design.
What to plant under a crepe myrtle in the South
Crepe myrtles are a popular ornamental tree in the south. They are known for their showy flowers which come in a variety of colors including pink, red, white, and purple.
Crepe myrtles can be grown in a variety of soil types, but they prefer well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. In order to get the best blooms from your crepe myrtle, it is important to know what to plant under them.
One of the best plants to grow under a crepe myrtle is liriope. Liriope is a perennial that has long, strap-like leaves and small, purple flowers. It grows well in shady areas and can tolerate a wide range of soil types.
Another good option for planting under a crepe myrtle is annual Ryegrass. This grass is known for its ability to withstand heavy foot traffic and heat.
It also has a deep root system which makes it ideal for growing under trees. Annual Ryegrass should be fertilized regularly in order to keep it looking its best.
Ornamental kale is another good choice for planting under a crepe myrtle. Ornamental kale is a cool season annual that has frilly, colorful leaves. It does best in full sun to partial shade and can tolerate a wide range of soil types.
When choosing plants for under your crepe myrtle, it is important to consider the amount of sun and shade the area gets as well as the type of soil.
Liriope, annual Ryegrass, and ornamental kale are all good options that can tolerate a variety of conditions.
With proper care, these plants will thrive and provide your crepe myrtle with the support it needs to grow strong and healthy.
How to properly underplant a crepe myrtle
Now we’ll show you how to properly underplant a crepe myrtle so that you can enjoy its beauty event more.
First, remove any existing grass or weeds within a two-foot radius of the trunk.
Then, using a garden spade, loosen the soil all around the trunk out to the drip line (the outer edge of the tree’s canopy).
Next, spread a 2-inch layer of organic mulch evenly over the planting area. Be sure to keep the mulch several inches away from the trunk to prevent rot.
Finally, water your newly planted crepe myrtle deeply and regularly for the first few weeks until it becomes established.
With just a little care, you’ll be rewarded with many years of enjoyment from your lovely crepe myrtle.
What type of flowers or shrubs can I plant with a crepe myrtle?
You can plant any type of flowers or shrubs with a crepe myrtle. Some good options include roses, hibiscus, lantana, and pentas.
You can also plant annuals and perennials around the base of the crepe myrtle. Be sure to give the plants enough room to grow, and don’t plant anything that will compete with the crepe myrtle for water or nutrients.
When it comes to pruning crepe myrtles, less is more. Don’t be afraid to cut back the branches, but don’t go overboard. Over-pruning will stimulate growth and result in a leggy, unattractive plant.
In fact, the best time to prune a crepe myrtle is right after it blooms. This will help ensure that the plant looks its best for the rest of the growing season.
If you do need to prune, wait until after the plant has finished blooming.
Plants that can be used as an underplanting for crepe myrtles
There are a number of plants that can be used as an underplanting for crepe myrtles.
One option is to use liriope. Liriope is a groundcover plant that spreads quickly, and it will form a dense mat of foliage that will help to suppress weeds and keep the soil moist.
Liriope is available in several colors, including white, blue, and purple, so you can choose one that will complement the color of your crepe myrtle.
Another option is to use azalea plants. Azaleas come in a wide range of colors, so you can find one that will match the color of your crepe myrtle.
They also grow well in shady areas, so they would be a good choice if your crepe myrtle is growing in partial shade. Azaleas need acidic soil to thrive, so if your soil is alkaline you may need to add some sulfur to lower the pH.
Hostas are another good choice for an underplanting. Hostas come in a wide range of colors and sizes, so you can find one that will fit your space. They also have large leaves that will help to shade the soil and keep it moist.
Ferns are another option to consider. Ferns come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they can add a tropical look to your garden. Many ferns do well in shady areas, so they would be a good choice if your crepe myrtle is growing in partial shade.
When choosing plants for your underplanting, be sure to choose ones that will do well in the same conditions as your crepe myrtle. Crepe myrtles prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
Be sure to also consider the mature size of the plants you choose. You don’t want them to outgrow their space and crowd out your crepe myrtle.
Why underplant a crepe myrtle tree?
Underplanting a crepe myrtle tree is beneficial because it provides shade for the lower plants, and it helps to prevent soil erosion. Additionally, the tree’s roots will help to stabilize the soil and improve drainage.
Underplanting also helps to create a more diverse and interesting landscape.
By adding different levels of plants, you can add depth and dimension to your garden. Additionally, underplanting can help to fill in any gaps in your landscape.
There are many reasons to underplant a crepe myrtle tree. The tree provides shade for the lower plants, helps to prevent soil erosion, and improves drainage.