Red crepe myrtle is a fixture in the southern states, but is recommended for growth in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 10. It was named for the crinkly, crepe-like appearance of its flowers that bloom in early spring and continue throughout the summer in most areas. However, the bark of this tree is just as appealing as the flowers it produces. The bark can be light brown, orange, cream or cinnamon colored and it gives this red crepe myrtle an appeal all its own.
The crepe myrtle is a hardy plant, which makes it a popular choice among home gardeners and commercial landscape designers. It is resistant to high heat and tolerant of drought weather conditions. Red crepe myrtle can be purchased balled and burlap or bare root. It can also be transplanted from containers.
Crepe myrtles prefer loamy soils but can adapt to most soil types, with the exception of excessively wet soil. They produce blooms without fertilizer but absolutely flourish with regular fertilizer applications.
Versatility is one of the most attractive traits of the crepe myrtle. It can be pruned into a shrub or a multi-stemmed tree. Because of its dramatic colors, red crepe myrtle is often placed along driveways or around decks. It also makes a lovely specimen tree in any yard or garden. When used as a shrub, red crepe myrtle can be used as borders or around entrances. Dwarf varieties can be used as a ground cover for an unusual visual effect that adds appeal.