Catawaba Crape Myrtle Tree Lagerstroemia indica

Rough Draft 9/10/2021


Catawba pronounced “kuh·taa·buh”. This Crape Myrtle Tree is the bright purple flowering variety that produces the vibrant purple flowers on a rich green tree from early spring into fall. This is a fast growing tree where the flowers don’t carry a scent. This tree reminds me of a lilac bush as being a  definate eye catcher.  There have been known to have around 50 species of Crape Myrtle’s yet only a very few are grown today. Crape Myrtles usually grow in warm or tropical regions with some as shrubs or trees. These trees are extremely heat-tolerant and quite drought-tolerant after being well established. These trees can flourish best in zones 7 -10. 

Planting, Growth, and Care

Planting and Watering

Like lemon trees the Catawba tree loves the heat. The best time to plant your crape myrtle is during the months of June – September when the soil is warm. Prepare the soil with a typical shrub fertilizer. Start by digging in your desired planting spot by using the tree’s root ball as your guide.  The hole should be as deep as the root ball yet dig wider than the width of the root ball so the roots have room to stretch out and grow.  Return the soil to fill and mound around the trunk(s) i of the tree. This is why myrtle trees remind me of lilac trees because they typically have multiple trunks while they are young.  Water in well.  Water this tree once or twice a week during the hot months and less if needed during the winter months. The Catawba Myrtle Tree loves the tropical climate and will show fast growth during the hot months.

Sun Requirements

When choosing a special spot in your landscape  for this tree it can be very lovely planted near an outlooking window because of the continuous blooms of color. Note this tree needs 6-8 hours of sun a day but needs to be  protected from the superhot sun of the afternoon to evening hours. 


If a purple Catawba Myrtle Tree is not the desired color for your yard or garden that is okay. Myrtle trees come in other beautiful colors such as white, salmon pink, crimson red, and a few shades in between. Good news for novice gardeners to experienced gardeners once this tree has been planted, watering is pretty much the only special care it needs. If pruning needs to happen to keep the desired shape, the winter months is the time to prune. Crape Myrtle wood is tough wood  having sharp pruning shears or tree saws would be ideal when getting ready to prune. A good thought to remember is that any extra care is well worth the consistent popping blooms nine months out of the year. 

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