Drought Tolerant Tree For Modesto CA: Crepe Myrtle

Crepe myrtle trees are a great choice for a drought tolerant tree in Modesto CA. They have the bonus of being a beautiful flowering accent tree. Modesto is in USDA plant hardiness zone 9.

Lagerstroemia indica (crepe myrtle) comes in a variety of shapes. They can be a bush or trained into a multi-trunked tree or a standard tree. Crepe myrtles grow in zones 7 through 10, they will bloom for two to three months during the late spring and into midsummer.

Crepe myrtle Muskogee

Crepe myrtles are fairly easy to grow as long as they get six to eight hours of sunlight and have good drainage. It’s not advisable to fertilize these trees, with a high nitrogen fertilizer because it will push the growth into the leaves and you will have very few flowers.

If you live in a high humidity area you need to make sure that you purchase mildew resistant crepe myrtles, irrigation can be another factor in causing powdery mildew. You can choose a Muskogee or Natchez. It is necessary to have a mildew resistant tree, because of their susceptibility to powdery mildew.

Crepe myrtle Natchez

The Natchez and Dynamite varieties can reach 30 feet in height, while the dwarf crepe myrtle or bush size plants will stay in the 3 to 6 foot range. Designers and landscapers have found that their showy blossoms can be used in a casual contemporary landscapes or in a very traditional and formal setting.

Crepe myrtles come in several colors anywhere from pure white to blazing scarlet and there are varieties that have every shade of pink in between. The blossoms cover the tree in a showy fashion and can last into October and then the fall leaves turn some gorgeous hues of burgundy.

When planning your landscaping, make sure that you don’t place crepe myrtles near walkways and patios if you don’t like to sweep, because the old blossoms shed over the full two to three month blooming period. I don’t mind sweeping in order to enjoy the beautiful color.

Crepe myrtle Dynamite

As soon as your crepe myrtle has established its roots it can be extremely drought tolerant. An occasional pruning and some regular watering during the summer heat is all the care that crepe myrtles require. Contrary to popular belief crepe myrtles do not need to be cut back to its base or as I call it pollarding.

I would definitely recommend adding some crepe myrtles to your planting list for your yard. Due to the fact that they are low maintenance, drought tolerant, and have showy color for several months.

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