Crape Myrtle ‘Natchez’
- Full Sun
About This Plant
Full sun; deciduous. All the “Indian series” hybrids were produced at the National Arboretum to improve disease resistance and lengthen the bloom period. ‘Natchez’ is the white-blooming version with striking cinnamon-red peeling bark. There are many full grown specimens around older San Antonio campuses and neighborhoods.
“Natchez” is long-lived and slow-growing. Use it as a shade tree, not a shrub: give it plenty of room and sun, and avoid chopping the tops off in winter (“crape murder”) which serves no purpose other than disfiguring the tree.
“Natchez” has improved resistance to powdery mildew. In general, pruning can be performed every four to six years; focus on minimizing dead, damaged, or rubbing branches, and removing no more than 25% of the canopy during any five-year period. Leave the upper 2/3 of the crown uncut to maintain a healthy specimen.
Mulch with about 2″ of woodchips or pine bark wherever possible. (A six-foot diameter mulched area is the minimum.) If natural rainfall has been absent for a month or more in drought years and the tree seems badly stressed, water the area beneath the canopy.
This plant goes well with
- Dietes bicolor
- Chasmanthium latifolium
- Trachelospermum jasminoides