How to Grow and Care for Crape Myrtle Twilight

Crape Myrtle Twilight plants spot the deepest shades of purple among all crape myrtles. They are popular choices for landscaping and community development. People love this tree’s unique flowers, hardiness, and ability to adapt to various external conditions.

Crape myrtle twilight thrives in nitrogen-rich soil despite being a big grower. It attracts pollinators with its all-summer bloom and bright blooms. Important care practices for your twilight crape myrtle include keeping the soil acidic and using a balanced fertilizer. 

Lagerstroemia ‘Twilight’ Crape Myrtle Profile

The table below summarizes the plant’s profile.

NamesLagerstroemia, Twilight Crape Myrtle, Crepeflower
SizeMaximum 25 feet high, 15 feet spread. Fast 3-5 feet growth rate per year
Soil typeChalk, Clay, Loam, Sand, Well-drained, moist fertile soils
Soil pH5-6.5 
WaterRegular watering, 
Sun exposureFull sunlight—at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day
USDA Zones7-10
Bloom timeLate spring to early summer.
Flower colorPurple
When to pruneAutumn to Winter
Root system (type)Fibrous 

Origin and names

The crape myrtle is native to China, India, and other parts of southeast Asia. Other names for the species include Lagerstroemia, Twilight Crape Myrtle, Crepeflower, etc.

Crape myrtle Twilight is also popular in other parts of the globe as ornamental plants. In the US, you are more likely to find similar species within the South or in USDA growing zones 7-10, where prevailing weather conditions favor their propagation.

Size

Twilight crape myrtle can attain incredible growth under ideal conditions. The average growth rate of the plant is about 3-5 feet per year, although a mature tree can reach about 15-25 ft in height and a 10-15 ft spread.

A Twilight crape myrtle’s size is dependent on a variety of factors such as its growing location, growth medium, and adherence to the species’ environmental needs. Besides, outdoor growing plants are more likely to reach full natural size faster than similar species indoors.

Blooms and foliage

Twilight crape myrtle produces crinkly purple blooms at specific times of the year. The flowers often appear during late spring to early summer when they sometimes appear with a fuchsia-pink shade, depending on the plant’s variety. The flowers bloom for about 120 days before dropping to the ground.

The species have bright green oval foliage, although the leaf color is dependent on the season. New buds appear during spring, develop to green leaves during summer, and turn to a reddish-brown hue during autumn. The plant sheds its foliage during late autumn and winter leaving a gray-colored bark.

Warmer weather causes the bark to change from dull gray to an attractive light pink and reddish-brown shade as the plant receives more sun

You can expect a mature Twilight crape myrtle to produce new blooms at least once a year during summer. Poor health, pH imbalances, and inadequate sunlight might diminish your crape myrtle Twilight’s blooming abilities. 

Growth rate

Twilight crape myrtle trees can grow quickly under optimal conditions. On average, a single plant can reach a 3-5 ft growing rate per year, and it takes about 5-10 years for the plant to fully mature.

Some plants can grow to considerable heights and sizes depending on how you prune, shape, and maintain them. Most of the Twilight crape myrtle’s growth happens during the spring and summer months when the plant is active compared to its dormancy phase during the cooler months of the year. 

How to grow and care for Twilight crape myrtle

Twilight crape myrtle trees are hardy plants that can withstand a scope of non-native external conditions. Gardeners and home decoration enthusiasts also love growing the species for their pest-resistant and low maintenance requirements.

Here are a few ideas to properly grow and care for your Twilight crape myrtle trees.

Spacing when planting

Proper spacing ensures your plants have adequate access to essential minerals and sunlight and look aesthetically pleasing. Give your plant a 4 ft diameter separating it from the grass area. Plant individual trees with about 4-12 ft of space. Still, you can add additional space per your preference.

You can also propagate crape myrtle Twilight from cuttings. Place healthy Twilight crape myrtle cuttings about 6 inches apart and position individual cuttings halfway through the soil. Alternatively, you can add about 2 inches of organic mulch to the growing surface to conserve moisture during the early growth phase. 

When digging a hole for your tree, ensure it’s about three times the plant’s width and take special care not to damage the plant’s sensitive rootball. You can grow Twilight crape myrtle as a single plant or as several plants closely packed as a natural shrub fencing. 

It is much better to grow crape myrtle Twilight outdoors than indoors as the plants can reach considerable heights.

Light

Twilight crape myrtle requires an average of 6 hours of unfiltered sunlight during their active growing phase to remain healthy, produce blooms and reach higher heights much quicker. The species can also tolerate partial sunlight conditions although low light can affect its growth rate, health, and aesthetics.

Plant young plants away from shady spaces or areas prone to light obstructions such as close to tall trees and buildings. Adherence to the plant’s light requirements ensures regular blooming and prevents fungal infections such as sooty mold and powdery mildew on foliage and flowers.

Soil type and pH

Twilight crape myrtle can grow in chalk, loam, and sandy soils. Clay soils have a high water retention capacity which can affect the plant’s health and leave it susceptible to root rot and other soil-related ailments.

The species prefer growing under a slightly acidic pH averaging 5-6.5. Highly alkaline soils can negatively affect nutrient absorption and plant health. You can occasionally add small amounts of balanced nitrogen-rich 10-10-10 slow-release fertilizer during early spring and early fall to maintain the soil’s nutrient quality and to keep soil pH in check. 

Additionally, you can use sulfur and lime to correct your pH values but it’s always recommended to first test a soil sample before changing its pH.

Water

Twilight crape myrtle has moderate water requirements depending on the prevailing weather conditions, growth stage, and season.

Newly tended plants require more water compared to mature and established plants. Water young plants thoroughly after planting and 1-2 times weekly for the first two months. Gradually reduce your watering rate after the roots form fully.

Mature plants can withstand considerable durations without water, but they must receive about 6 inches of water once or twice a month. 

The plants require more water during summer and spring compared to winter and fall when temperatures are cooler. Mulching is also a good idea if you want to improve water conservation (and reduce nutrient leaching).

USDA hardiness zones

The species prefer growing in USDA hardiness zones 7-10 where the plants can enough light and the temperatures are warm enough to support their growth throughout the year.

Pruning

Regular pruning of the crape myrtle helps you maintain consistent growth, shapes your plant, and contains the spread of pests and diseases. Winter is the best time to prune your crape myrtle Twilight shrub as the plant is in its dormancy stage.

You must prune your plant correctly to prevent injury. Excessive pruning is detrimental to plant health. It can take longer for the plant to recover. When pruning a crape myrtle Twilight, aim for the suckers at the root, low hanging branches, and crowded stalks at the canopy.

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