S & J Nursery’s Guide to
Crape Myrtle ‘Catawba’
in the Northeast Florida Landscape
Crape Myrtle Catawba Preferred Exposure:
– Full sun is needed for Catawba Crape Myrtles to grow and bloom properly.
Catawba Crape Myrtle Foliage | Bark:
– Large green deciduous foliage of the Catawba Crape Myrtle turns orange red in the
fall before falling off the tree for winter.
– Bark of the Catawba Crape Myrtle is a beautiful mottled tan color and smooth
textured. Very pretty.
Catawba Crape Myrtle Soil Preference / Salt Tolerance:
– Catawba Crape Myrtles do well in most soils providing they are well draining.
Catawba Crape Myrtle Size Variance:
– Catawba Crape Myrtle is one of the smaller growing selections and will only grow
up to 12 feet high and wide.
– Use Catawba Crape Myrtles where you have limited space that a larger species would
not be well suited to or you would have to trim back all of the time to keep it in scale you can still allow
this variety to grow to its full potential without all the fuss.
Crape Myrtle Catawba Growth Habit:
– Upright spreading tree.
Crape Myrtle Catawba Growth Rate:
– Crepe Myrtles growth rate is tied to its mature growth size, 30 ft tall
Muskogee Crepe Myrtles will grow very quickly but Catawba that has a mature height of only 12 ft is much slower
Catawba Crape Myrtle Bloom:
– Catawba Crape Myrtle blooms are thought by many to be the best of the purple
colored selections. The bright Purple color is a rich deep hue that is very eye catching and makes a dramatic
landscape statement when in bloom. One of my personal favorite selections.
Crape Myrtle Catawba Water Requirements:
-Crape Myrtles trees are drought tolerant after they are established in the
landscape but will need to be watered well after planting for two weeks to three months in the establishment
period depending on the size of the tree being planted and during prolonged periods of drought after established
in the landscape.
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
Best Uses For Crape Myrtles:
– Few trees make quite the statement in the landscape that a Crape Myrtle can. They
bloom for months with little care on our part to keep them looking spectacular. Its little wonder they hold such
a place in our hearts and in our gardens.
– Plant them alone as a specimen accent or in groups for added dramatic flare. With
so many varieties, colors and sizes to choose from, no southern garden should be without at least one!
– Crepe Myrtles are the perfect touch of color when inter planted in hedge rows for
privacy screens or property borders.
– Low maintenance and drought tolerant once established, Crepe Myrtles make
excellent commercial plantings for parking lots and street trees.
Care of Crape Myrtles:
– Water every day during the establishment period. See watering your newly planted
trees for more information.
-They will need good water during the establishment period and supplemental
irrigation during dry spells or particularly hot dry summers.
– All Crepe Myrtles bloom on new wood and should be pruned in winter or early spring
for best bloom.
– Take care to remove basal suckers and small twiggy growth each year on larger
specimens and remove crossing or touching branch growth as well as branches growing towards the center rather
than the more desirable growth that grows out and away from other branches.
– During the summer growth season you can choose to trim old blooms and your Crepe
Myrtle will put out a second lighter and slightly smaller bloom to replace it and prolong your bloom season.
– Provide a 1 ft diameter circle of mulched area where grass is kept from growing
for each inch of caliper (or diameter) of trunk measured 4 inches from the ground level.
– Fertilize each spring with a heaping shovel of compost or a mixture of Milorganite
and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling
the fertilizer around the mulch circle underneath the foliage of the tree.