crape myrtle in zone 6B

remist17

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I was told that crape myrtle can not been done outside for the winter in my zone. It is to cold. Why do the local greenhouses sell crape myrtle for regular plants then. Is it because the bonsai is in a pot that they should not be outside?

I am holding off putting mine in a pot until I can figure it out. Do I need to pull inside during the winter? or just put it in the barn and cover with the bottom with mulch?
 

coh

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I think a crepe myrtle in a pot will need a fair amount of winter protection in your area. The plant itself can certainly tolerate freezing, but the roots may not. I'm not sure whether burying the pot in the ground (with mulch) would be OK or whether you should keep the entire plant in a sheltered spot (garage, perhaps) that stays pretty close to freezing (the latter would obviously be safer and is what I'm doing up here). Hopefully others with more experience with crepe myrtle can comment.

The reason the nurseries sell them is that they are probably semi-hardy in your area, i.e. the tops may (probably) get killed to the ground but they'll regrow from the roots each year.

Chris
 

remist17

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I have a barn that is usually around freezing and a garage with zero light that is around 50 all through the winter.

Is this ok?
 

coh

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The barn might work, but you'd probably want to monitor the actual temp to make sure it doesn't get too cold. A 50 deg garage would definitely be too warm. Light won't matter once the tree loses its leaves.

Chris
 

JudyB

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I was told that crape myrtle can not been done outside for the winter in my zone. It is to cold. Why do the local greenhouses sell crape myrtle for regular plants then.

In my experience only the box stores, not real nurseries sell these in zones they won't live in. They sell them here in zone 5 as well, you get to guess why. Here's a hint... ($$$) :(
 

sfhellwig

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I am in zone 6B and the landscape crapes do die back, largely to the ground pending the cultivar. The dwarfs reliably die to the ground and the larger ones can keep some height but always take die back. I dug up a seedling and kept it in a one gallon can, buried in the ground and it lived. But sometimes a seedling is also the best survivor. So a crape that is a few years old in a shallow pot is a perfect candidate to lose every winter. The barn near freezing should be a very good place to keep it. Last winter we took a pretty serious zone 6 winter and my seedling survived outdoors so a well protected specimen plant should make it. I would be a little concerned every winter but that is the dance we all dance. We all lose a tree now and then, even under good conditions.
 
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Well, I live in zone 6b, and my two potted crape myrtles spend the winter in an unheated shed. The soil in the pot freezes, but the trees come back just fine each spring. My landscape trees used to be killed back to the ground in severe winters in the '70s and early '80s, but that hasn't happened in the last 25 years or so. Global warming, anyone?
Oliver
 

Mike423

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I have a few year old crape myrtle I keep in my garage (zone 5) which is kept above 20 degrees and it seemed to work fine. I only have had it for a little over a year year but it didn't die last winter:)
 

remist17

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I put the plants in the ground. But now I am rethinking this. Maybe I should plant them in pots and put them in the barn and see what happens. I have a dwarf and a regular one. The shed gets as cold as it wold outside, but the barn keeps better since the animals give off body heat. At least i will have somthing to look at everyday when I go and feed.
 

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