When is the best time of year to plant crapemyrtle bushes?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Robbie: This time of the year crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia) is a delight to have in any sun-loving, southern garden. These plants are available in an array of colors and sizes. With all the new cultivars our options in terms of size and color are certainly not limited. As for planting these shrubs/trees the ideal time is after the frost-free date for your area has passed and before the first hard freeze in the fall/winter. Summer planting is fine as long as you are going to be around to water. As with any new addition to the garden it is essential that the crapemyrtle get sufficient moisture while it is becoming established. For most Kentucky gardeners we are on the low end of the hardiness for these plants so we have to be careful not to plant them too early or too late in the season. If we have a really cold winter they can die back to the ground but they will come back up next spring. That being said, we have had a beautiful ‘Acoma’ crapemyrtle planted for 11 years with no sign of winter damage, even through an ice storm. You may want to check your hardiness zone because I think you may be gardening in zone 5, which might be too cold for a crapemyrtle unless you have a microclimate in your garden. There are certain cultivars that seem to be hardier than others so check with your local garden centers to see what they suggest planting. Your County Cooperative Extension Service is always a reliable source of information as well.