Delta Jazz Crape Myrtle: Profile, Care + Growing Guide

Crape myrtles make exceptional centerpieces in gardens and ornamental shrubs for home borders. Their diverse flower colors and adaptability make them an easy choice for gardeners with an eye for low-maintenance trees. Delta Jazz crape myrtle is a dwarf variety famed for its eye-catching flower-foliage color contrast. 

Delta Jazz crepe myrtle is one of the newer crepe myrtle cultivars specifically bred to be more disease and pest-resistant. It can with drought while retaining its colorful red and burgundy appearance. It’s most prominent in summer. It’ll do well in most soils including clay. Fertilize it yearly and trim it in fall to maintain a steady bloom streak.

Lagerstroemia ‘Delta Jazz’ Crape Myrtle Profile

The table below provides the plant profile for Lagerstroemia ‘Delta Jazz’ crape myrtle, and can be used for the identification and maintenance of this crepe myrtle species.

NamesDelta Jazz crape myrtle; Lagerstroemia ‘Delta Jazz’; Lagerstroemia hybrid ‘Chocolate Mocha’ PP21540
SizeHeight: 8-12 feet; Spread: 4-6 feet
Soil typeWell-draining soil (chalk, loam, sand). Tolerates clay soil
Soil pHAcidic, neutral, alkaline
WaterModerate water needs (once per week during dry periods)
Sun exposurePrefers full sunlight exposure, withstands partial shade
USDA Zones7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Bloom timeEarly-late summer (first bloom cycle)Late summer-early fall (second bloom cycle)
Flower colorBubblegum pink/bright pink
When to pruneLate winter-early spring
Root system (type)Fibrous and shallow

Origin and names

The common name for this crepe myrtle cultivar is Delta Jazz crape myrtle. However, it also goes by Lagerstroemia hybrid ‘Chocolate Mocha’ PP21540 or Lagerstroemia ‘Delta Jazz’.

The Southern Living Collection first introduced the Delta series crape myrtle was first introduced by the Southern Living Collection in 2010. Mississippi State University developed it as one of the first varieties with dark foliage.

Delta Jazz crepe myrtle is part of the ‘Delta’ series of crepe myrtle that also includes other well-known cultivars like Delta Flame, Delta Eclipse, and Delta Moonlight crape myrtles. 

Size

Delta Jazz crape myrtle has a dwarf-moderate height at full maturity, peaking at 8-12 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide.

Blooms and foliage

Lagerstroemia Delta Jazz produces vibrant, bubblegum pink flowers from mid-summer to early fall. Delta Jazz crepe myrtle will bloom vigorously during the first bloom, but won’t have as many flowers during the rebloom.

 Once the first batch of blooms is spent, you can deadhead them to force a second bloom that lasts late into fall.

Meanwhile, the dark burgundy leaves form a gorgeous backdrop for the colorful flowers. The foliage holds its rich color throughout the summer, even in southern states with scorching  temperatures. However, the curved burgundy leaves will show signs of decline, such as discoloration, dropping off, or developing spots as the plant goes dormant in the winter. 

Growth rate

Delta Jazz crepe myrtle is a semi-dwarf crepe myrtle cultivar. Therefore, you can expect it to grow faster than dwarf varieties but at a slightly slower rate than taller varieties grown as trees.

How to grow and care for Delta Jazz crape myrtle

Lagerstroemia ‘Delta Jazz’ is a highly adaptable crape myrtle variety. However, you still need to meet some growth requirements to get the best looking Delta Jazz tree. These growth requirements include spacing when planting, light conditions, soil type, soil Ph, water requirements, and USDA plant hardiness zones. 

Spacing when planting

If you’re looking to form a seamless hedge using Delta Jazz crepe myrtle, space each plant 3-4 feet apart. Otherwise, if you prefer a small gap between each tree, plant them at least 4-5 feet apart.

Light

Delta Jazz crepe myrtle prefers uninterrupted sunlight exposure. However,  it will still grow in partial shade conditions.

Soil type and pH

Lagerstroemia Delta Jazz thrives in well-draining garden soil and will withstand various soil types, including chalk, loam, and sand. While it can tolerate clay soil, it would be best if you avoid planting it in compacted or clay soil with poor drainage. 

Delta Jazz crape myrtle also grows in various soil pH conditions, including soils with acidic, neutral, and alkaline pH. You will get excellent foliage, blooming, and overall growth if the soil pH is slightly acidic with a 6.0-6.5 pH range.

Water

Lagerstroemia Delta Jazz has moderate water needs. Before it’s established, you need to irrigate it regularly. However, watering once a week will suffice after your Delta Jazz crape myrtle establishes.

Mulching around your Delta Jazz crape myrtle helps with moisture retention, ensuring the tree doesn’t experience prolonged periods of drought. Use at least 3 inches of organic matter to mulch your Delta Jazz crape myrtle. 

USDA hardiness zones

Delta Jazz crepe myrtle is well-adapted to the following USDA plant hardiness zones: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, and 10b.

Pruning

The best time of the year to prune Lagerstroemia Delta Jazz is in early spring, right when the plant is coming out of dormancy. Pruning at this stage encourages growth of new shoots from which blooms sprout later on in the summer.

Also, the plant has little or no foliage when it is coming out of dormancy.  It is easy to see which branches are growing inwards and downwards instead of outwards and upwards from the center of the canopy. 

Delta Jazz branches growing inward and downward usually affect the shape and structure of the plant and should be pruned off.

Note: You can also lightly prune crape myrtle at any time of the year to get rid of dying, dead, and diseased branches.

References

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