Sharon Lee of Rudolph asks: I fell in love with the crape myrtles while visiting my sister in Tennessee.
Can they be grown in Ohio?
Craig Everett, master gardener educator and horticulturist with Ohio State University Extension office in
Bowling Green, researched this question.
The simplest answer is success for crape myrtles in this part of Ohio is not likely.
Consulting "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants," by Michael Dirr, Everett discovered the crape
myrtle trees grow best in hardiness zones 7 through 9.
We are located in this part of Ohio in zone 5. The zones are based on coldest winter temperatures.
Temperatures have been known to get to minus-35 in this zone, with last year’s temperature reaching
The crape myrtles will freeze out at minus-5 to minus-10.
Everett also indicated with a mild winter it might do OK; however, it is also susceptible to common
diseases in this area. The plant also needs well-drained soil and full son.
He does not believe it would do well.
"It will definitely be an uphill battle to keep this plant alive," Everett summarized.
The scientific name is lagerstroemia crape myrtle. The Traditional "Southern Spelling is "Crepe
Myrtle," because the delicate flowers resemble crepe paper.
They come in many varieties, including full-size trees, dwarfs and miniatures.
Questions for Everett or other master gardeners may be submitted through out Web site or may be e-mailed to [email protected]