Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London Mary J Hall Kenneth R Behymer Western Brown’s Joe Sams commits to Marietta College WBHS to hold girls youth basketball camp Huseman signs with UC Clermont Day to continue baseball career on collegiate level at UC Clermont Western’s Pack signs with NKU WBHS to host youth boys basketball camp Eastern’s Rigdon, Hopkins are STATE BOUND James Ratliff Robert P Lesko Armstrong sentenced to twenty years on child porn possession charges Russellville hires new Village Clerk Russellville Council approves purchase of two ambulances

Enjoying Crape Myrtle in Ohio landscapes

“Zuni” is one of very few tree form Crape Myrtles that will survive in Ohio.

The Ohio Valley is on the northern edge of hardiness for Crape Myrtle, but some Crape Myrtle varieties can be successful here if care is taken to protect them from the harsh winters we get occasionally.

Crape Myrtle is a woody shrub or small specimen tree that will behave like a perennial in northern climates, often dying back to the ground in winter only to reappear when the weather gets warm. Some varieties are hardier than others; it’s important to check the hardiness zone on the label before buying. We are in Zone 6a, but a harsh winter can bring root temperatures below zero and most Crape Myrtle varieties will not survive.

Crape Myrtles are often the last plants to re-emerge in spring. They can appear dead, and in fact may have lots of winter-kill, but eventually you’ll see fresh green shoots springing from the ground. These will grow rapidly in a single season and then flower on the new growth. Simply cut off the dead wood, fertilize and you’ll be rewarded with bloom by late summer.

Most Crape Myrtle varieties are hardy in Zone 7 or warmer, but southern Ohio is in Zone 6a. At our nursery we carry only Zone 6 or Zone 5 Crape Myrtle cultivars. These will withstand most Ohio valley winters if they have protection from winter wind, in locations where the ground doesn’t stay frozen for long periods. Typically this would be the East or Southeast side of your home, in a sunny spot (Crape Myrtles do best in full sun all day).

One of our strongest impressions from travels in the South is the abundance of showy Crape Myrtle shrubs and trees everywhere. Down South we see lots of Crape Myrtle trees over ten feet tall, most often multiple trunk clumps with the lower branches removed to show off the handsome bark and interesting branch structure of this distinctive tree. Up north it’s harder to get this effect, since the tree will often freeze back and have to re-grow from the ground up. We carry “Zuni”, a dark lavender variety that grows in a classic “clump form tree” with multiple trunks.

A better approach for Ohio is shrub-form Crape Myrtles. Most of these are on the large side, from six to 10 feet tall and wide, but dwarf forms are available. We carry “Dynamite,” a red variety that is fairly hardy in the Ohio valley. We also have “Enduring Summer”, a new “re-blooming” variety with bright red blooms.

“Pocomoke” is a more compact shrub form that fits well in foundation plantings. In late summer it makes a gorgeous display, reminiscent of azaleas, when most shrubs are looking a bit tired from the heat. The “Filli” series is a low-growing form hardy to Zone 5, a better bet for Ohio than most Crape Myrtles. We have “Red Filli” and “Violet Filli”.

Crape myrtles are a taste of the South, very interesting accent plants. We would be cautious about depending on them as the backbone of an Ohio landscape, but we’ve seen them thrive here in the right setting.

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