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Lagerstroemia indica

Q: Can you give me the names of crape myrtles which are not susceptible to powdery mildew?

Q:  Can you give me the names of crape myrtles which are not susceptible to powdery mildew?  I am ready to get rid of the tree I now have and replace it because it never looks healthy.

A:  The best way to avoid powdery mildew is to plant one of the cultivars bred and selected for resistance to powdery mildew. Additionally, crape myrtle should be planted in sunny locations allowing free air movement so that wet foliage dries quickly.

The following cultivars are showing excellent or good resistance to powdery mildew:

Semi-dwarf (15 feet)

  • Acoma (white)
  • Caddo (pink)
  • Hope (blush-white)
  • Pecos (pink)
  • Tonto (red)

Intermediate (up to 20 feet)

  • Apalachee (orange)
  • Centennial Spirit (dark red)
  • Christiana (deep red)
  • Comanche (coral pink)
  • Hopi (pink)
  • Lipan (red-lavender)
  • Near East (pink)
  • Osage (pink)
  • Osage Blush (pink)
  • Sioux (pink)
  • Yuma (lavender)

Full tree (over 20 feet)

  • Basham’s Party Pink (lavender pink)
  • Biloxi (pink)
  • Choctaw (pink)
  • Fantasy (white)
  • Kiowa (white)
  • Miami (pink)
  • Muskogee (lavender pink)
  • Natchez (white)
  • Townhouse (white)
  • Tuscarora (coral pink)
  • Tuskegee (pink)
  • Twilight (dark purple)
  • Wichita (lavender)

One other point I want to discuss is the importance of having a confirmed diagnosis before applying any pesticide.  The condition on your crape myrtle is caused by a fungus therefore using insecticides would not be beneficial. Improper pesticide application wastes time and money and can contribute to the pest resistance.   The improper application of pesticides means we are not following the guidelines set by the Federal government on the pesticide label.  In essence, we are breaking the law.