Pink Velour Crape Myrtle Care and Growing Requirements

The pink velour crape myrtle is a semi-dwarf cultivar commonly grown as a mixed shrub or solely for screening, hedging, or creating a focal point in the landscape. It has vibrant pink flowers and dramatically changing red-wine leaves. It also has a high tolerance to drought and good resistance to powdery mildew.

The pink velour crape myrtle requires minimal maintenance, provided it’s grown in its hardiness zone. Plant the tree in a location with full sun exposure and well-draining soil. Once established, water it moderately and feed it in summer for a healthy plant.

Lagerstroemia ‘Pink Velour’ Crape Myrtle Profile

Names Lagerstroemia indica ‘Whit III’, crape myrtle pink velour, Crapemyrtle Pink Velour
Size 6-10 feet tall, 6-10 feet wide
Soil type Relatively moist, Well-draining, loamy
Soil pH Slightly acidic to neutral, 5.5-6.5
Water 1-2 times weekly
Sun exposure Full sun
USDA Zones 7,8,9
Bloom time Mid-summer to early fall
Flower color Bright pink
When to prune Late winter
Root system (type) Fibrous

Origin and names

The pink velour tree (Lagerstroemia indica) is a deciduous, flowering plant species native to south India and Korea. It belongs to the genus Lagerstroemia, consisting of 50 more plants and shrubs. The pink velour tree has naturalized in the southern regions of the U.S.

This plant can be grown as a small tree or shrub. It’s sometimes called Lagerstroemia indica ‘Whit III,’ crape myrtle pink velour, or Crapemyrtle Pink Velour

Size

A mature pink velour crape myrtle tree grows 6-10 feet tall and spreads between 6 and 10 feet wide.

Blooms and foliage

The pink velour crape myrtle blooms from mid-summer to early fall, and the vibrant colors stay for a long time. The tree produces clusters of bright, pink flowers alongside deep, thick, wine-red, leathery leaves in mid-summer. The colorful flowers and foliages make the tree stand out among other plants in the landscape.

In late summer, the leaves slowly turn to purplish green and brownish-orange by fall. The bark of the tree also exfoliates, turning to greyish-brown.

After the blooming period, the plant produces tiny seeds in seedheads that stay around until winter.

Growth rate

The pink velour crape myrtle has a fast growth rate. Small trees develop about 2-3 feet per year to form small trees in four years.

How to grow and care for Pink Velour crape myrtle

Successfully growing the pink velour tree in your yard requires meeting optimal factors such as soil type, water, light, and correct pruning techniques. 

Below is a guide on caring for your pink velour shrub or tree.

Spacing when planting

The pink velour crape myrtle tree has numerous stems growing from the ground. The stems can grow up to 10 feet wide. The branches also spread in different directions, requiring proper spacing when planting the tree.

Dig planting holes 5 feet apart when using this tree as a hedge.

Light

The crape myrtle requires hot, full sun exposure of at least six hours daily to grow best and produce massive flower clusters. It develops fewer flowers in partial shade while there are no blooms in dark areas.

Choose a sunny spot when planting your crepe myrtle in the landscape for its vibrant flowers.

Soil type and pH

The pink velour crape myrtle thrives in relatively moist but well-draining soils. Clay and loam are the best soils for this plant, provided they have good drainage. The soil should not be too soggy or completely dry.

If your soil has drainage issues, add two inches of decomposed compost to the topsoil before planting to lighten heavy soils. Alternatively, plant the tree in a raised bed or a container.

The soil should also be slightly acidic or neutral, with 5.5 to 6.5 pH. Alkaline soils are unfavorable as they might cause yellowing leaves or chlorosis in the plant.

Water

An established pink velour crape myrtle tree has remarkable drought resistance and thus, needs less watering. However, immature plants often need watering to keep the soils relatively moist for fast growth.

Water your newly planted pink crape myrtle tree every two to three days in the first three to four months before it establishes. If you plant in winter, water once a week since the plant is more cold-hardy. The top two to three inches of soil should be dry before the next watering.

After the first four months, the crape myrtle tree can comfortably survive without supplemental watering, especially in areas receiving more than 120 inches of water annually. Since the plant is drought resistant, it can thrive in dry sandy soils after establishment.

USDA hardiness zones

The pink velour plant is commonly grown in the landscape. It needs all the seasons to thrive and produce those prolific flowers and feathery leaves. The growing zones are thus significant as they influence how the plant thrives throughout the year.

The pink velour crape myrtle is hardy in the USDA zones 7-9, where the lowest winter temperature is 0oF.

The table below shows the USDA zones and states where the crape myrtle thrives outdoors.

USDA zoneState
7New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Idaho, Massachusetts, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alaska, New York, Oklahoma, Nevada, Missouri, Utah, Washington D.C 
Georgia, Alaska, South Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oregon, Washington, Florida, Alabama,
9Arizona, Florida, California, Texas, Oregon, Nevada,

Pruning

Pruning a crape myrtle tree is a crucial factor in attaining its natural vase shape. Incorrect pruning leaves ugly tree stamps with weak branches that discourage flower production.

Pruning the pink velour requires correct timing and trimming techniques. Pruning is necessary for shrubbier trees to thin and cut them to a perfect size and shape. Trimmed trees allow good air and sunlight penetration and faster growth and blooming of the freshly cut areas.

The best time to prune your crape myrtle is late winter when the buds are dormant but about to develop new growths.

To prune the crape myrtle tree, you will need:

  • hand pruners for small branches and stems
  • pole pruners for larger extended stems
  • lopping shears for tall trees
  • a fine-toothed saw for branches less than 2.5 inches thick
  • coarse toothed saw for branches thicker than 2.5 inches.

How to prune pink velour crape myrtle

  1. Cut the branches on the stem to make the tree tidier.
  2. Proceed to cut the ones on the lower sides of the main trunks. Branches on the trunk should be at least six feet from the ground for a beautiful tree.
  3. Cut off the branches crossing over and rubbing against each other.
  4. Remove the dead, damaged, thin, and weak branches.
  5. Cut off all unwanted suckers and stems growing towards the middle of the tree from their base.
  6. Cut above buds pointing in the direction you want your braches to develop to encourage newer growth on them.

Remember to sterilize your equipment after a few cuts when dealing with a tree that looks sickly to avoid transferring diseases.

References

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