Shrub or small deciduous tree, native to Asia, this plant can reach 7-10 meters in height. The stem is erect and thin, often the plant develops more parallel trunks with pale, smooth bark, which generally tends to peel with age. The crown of the Lagerstroemia is roundish, enlarged, not very dense with oval, elongated, dark green leaves, which become orange in autumn, before falling.
In summer at the apex of the branches the Lagerstroemia indica produce long panicles of flowers of white, rosé or lilac color. These small trees are very common in gardens, and also in street trees; during the winter the plant strips completely and is one of the last plants to sprout in spring.
The species of lagestroemia they are about eighty, there are also much more impressive ones, such as Lagerstroemia speciosa, which reaches 20-25 meters in height, but fears the cold slightly; Lagerstroemia nana is instead a small shrub, which reaches 50-90 cm in height.
Place the la lagestroemia in a sunny place, or in partial shade; this tree does not fear the cold and tolerates summer heat and environmental pollution without any problem. The ideal exposure is full sun or, at best, the partial shade. However, they are less demanding plants and are unlikely to get sick.
Certainly giving them a luminous exposure will favor an abundant flowering and the beautiful autumn colors of the foliage.
|Family and gender||Lythraceae, about 30 species|
|Type of plant and growth habit||Stripping trees or bushes|
|Ground||clayey, rich and of good mixture|
|colors||Pink, violet, white, fuscia|
|Height||From 2 to 7 meters|
|Propagation||Seed, layering, cutting|
Origin and description
The first legerstroemia was introduced in Europe in the mid-1700s and came from China. It spread very quickly thanks to its aesthetic qualities. In Asia it is commonly used for the production of timber: in fact that of this plant has the advantage of not being attacked by insects, of being very compact and of having a very appreciable reddish color.
It is endemic to all of East Asia, from China to Australia. It is also widespread in the Americas. Linnaeus, when he baptized her, wanted to pay tribute to his personal friend, Lagerstroemia Magnus von Lagerstroem. The most widespread species, the lagerstroemia indica, comes from Japan, Korea and China. It is a tree with a very smooth, brown-gray stem. It has alternate, elliptical, dark green leaves (red when popped and before falling). It produces flowers in bunches (although in reality they are false flowers), even 20 cm long. With the passing of the season it also produces abundant seeds. In adult subjects, during autumn and winter, the bark flakes creating a very decorative effect. If grown with its natural habit it becomes a plant with very wide expanded foliage. Often, however, it is grown as a tree or a bush.
As far as lagerstroemia watering is concerned, the specimens that have been staying for a long time are satisfied with the rains; young specimens may need watering during the hottest months of the year or in case of prolonged drought. If the specimens are in full ground they rarely need to be followed from the water point of view.
If we have proceeded with the planting in spring or summer it is better to irrigate at least twice a week for the first three months, without exaggerating creating stagnations. In pots it is necessary to irrigate so that the soil always remains medium humid, but not soaked. The larger the vase, the rarer our interventions will have to be.
They prefer well-drained and humus-rich soils, possibly clay or limestone. They show that they can develop without problems in any terrain, even if they do not like waterlogging.
it happens by seed or by cutting. The small seeds are harvested at the end of summer, in woody capsules, which are divided into six parts with light pressure; they are sown already in autumn or during the following spring, some weeks of cold can favor germination. The cuttings are taken in summer, in July-August, taking care to keep the soil moist; the young plants are planted after at least 2-3 years of cultivation in pots.
Pests and diseases
Flowers and leaves are often affected by powdery mildew; the floral buds are struck by aphids. They are usually undemanding plants and are rarely damaged by insects or cryptogams.
It may happen that they are attacked by aphids, to be fought with specific products.
If we live in areas where oidium is very present (and the vintage alternates rain and hot days) it is better to prevent its occurrence with the use of wettable sulfur or pure sulfur to be distributed through the special bellows.
They are usually sold in pots (or at most with earth bread). The ideal time to plant it is spring, from April to June. To proceed optimally, you need to plant them in a clayey soil rich in nutrients: dig a large and deep hole at least twice the pot. On the bottom it will be necessary to put plenty of mature manure, cover it with a layer of earth and then insert the plant. Finally it will have to be covered with the remaining earth and compacted well to avoid the persistence of air bubbles. It is very useful to create a small depression around the trunk: in this we will be able to insert water and we will avoid that it flows away from the plant.
If we have planted a sapling plant it is strongly recommended to place a guardian at about ten centimeters, then a pole of circumference similar to that of the trunk. By tying it in several places we will avoid the problems that the wind can create, especially in the early years. In any case, they are plants that are less demanding in terms of soil and adapt very well to situations that are not ideal. I would only recommend avoiding arid, sandy or gravelly soils. They can also be grown in pots. It is clearly better to choose in this specific case among the less vigorous varieties.
The container should be rather large to give the plant the chance to grow without too much difficulty. It will be necessary to use a medium clay loam and to prepare a good draining layer on the bottom composed of shards, gravel and expanded clay. Repotting will be necessary every three or four years. At that point it will be decided whether to increase the size of the container or to cut both the roots and the crown of the tree to stabilize it. The lagerstroemia they are successfully used to create beautiful bonsai trees. They lend themselves well because they grow very slowly, they like growing in containers and it is quite easy to make their leaves small.
They are very rustic plants and grow without problems whatsoever in all of our peninsula, except in the alpine areas above 12 m of altitude.
Only potted plants could suffer some damage in northern Italy. It is therefore advisable, especially if we know that in winter we can reach -10 ° C in our area, pick them up in a cold greenhouse or, if necessary, cover the container with insulating material (such as straw or polystyrene).
If they are in rich soil they usually do not need fertilizing. They hardly ever have difficulty flowering. If you want, however, in autumn you can surround your foot with mature manure, then bury it in the spring with a light hoe. The administration of a granular fertilizer for trees or flowering plants in spring will also be of help to growth and flower production. If you grow them in pots you can also proceed with the use of a liquid fertilizer with a high content of phosphorus and potassium, starting from the spring.
It is one of the most beautiful and appreciated flowering plants. It doesn't have an easy name, but its beauty quickly makes it forget.
Lagerstroemia is a plant belonging to the Lythraceae family and, depending on the species or the method of cultivation
visit: lagerstroemia pruning