Pic of the Day – Lagerstroemia indica ‘Red Filli’

'Red Filli' makes a great flowering shrub.

‘Red Filli’ makes a great flowering shrub.

The late Fleming brothers had a serious case of zone denial – in the frozen tundra of Nebraska they bred hibiscus and crepe myrtles.  Their primary goal of course was increased hardiness.  This selection of crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica ‘Red Filli’, is about as hardy as you can get in the genus.  Reports from up north say this plant is hardy as a die-back shrub to zone 4.  I’m betting that is with a whole lot of mulch.  We were also told that it would grow like a ground cover 18″ tall by 36″ or more wide.  It may grow like that in Nebraska but here in crepe myrtle country at the JC Raulston Arboretum, it is forming a small, multi-stemmed shrub.  In the 5 years we’ve been growing it, ‘Red Filli’ has become a 4′ shrub that begins flowering early with big clusters of bright pink flowers.  The foliage is tinged purple and deepens to plum with red highlights in fall.  So far, it has been fairly mildew resistant.  It is exceptionally long blooming, starting as early as the beginning of June and lasting through September for a flower show that covers a full third of the year.  We’re not sure quite how large it will ultimately grow for us, but if treated as a cut-back shrub it should stay in the 4′ range although it will not flower until mid-July.  Full sun and average soil.

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

Although not really red, the bright pink flowers are showy.

Although not really red, the bright pink flowers are showy.

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3 thoughts on “Pic of the Day – Lagerstroemia indica ‘Red Filli’

  1. roberta4949

    may I offer a bit of experienced advice? my crapes would die back so I decided to bury them upright, I would fence htme use burlap and put alot of compost dirt, (not leaves and stuff doens’t work) and literally bury it upright, worked. the protected parts would survive, but the past 2 years they didn’t really need it the unprotected parts survived. but I go ahead and protect as much of the tops as I can anyway just incase. I want to create a semi bonsai creapes so the trunk can get nice and big (so you can see the beauty of it) and keep the tops down (or the occassional cold winter will do it for me). anyway love them, wish more people around here would grow some, I guess it is just tomuch trouble burying them, it only takes me about an hour per tree to do the work of protecting and the rest of the time I don’t have to do anything, seems like a fair trade to me.

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    1. Mark Weathington Post author

      Not sure I would go through the effort you do for crepe myrtle but I may be jaded from living in the south. There is limited ability to increase hardiness unfortunately. Lagerstroemia fauriei is the hardiest species but even it has limited hardiness. Not much beyond Z7 reliably.

      Thanks for the rebog.

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