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Center Stage® Red Crape Myrtle

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Once a weekFull sunDeer resistantSpring to fall
  • Dazzling Red Blooms: Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle showcases vibrant red flowers that breathe life into any garden space, offering a burst of color from summer through early fall.
  • Resistant to Mildew: This Crape Myrtle variety stands strong against powdery mildew, ensuring healthier foliage and uninterrupted growth for your landscape.
  • Versatile Landscaping Star: Whether planted as a standalone tree or a garden hedge, this Crape Myrtle seamlessly integrates into diverse garden styles, making it a versatile gem for landscaping projects.

More Details

Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle, scientifically known as Lagerstroemia indica, is a mesmerizing perennial that commands attention in gardens and landscapes. This magnificent plant is renowned for its brilliant red blossoms that captivate onlookers and enhance outdoor beauty. With the right attention, the Crape Myrtle flourishes in various climates, producing vibrant and long-lasting blooms, making it a prime choice for garden enthusiasts looking to invigorate their surroundings with nature's grandeur.

Growth rate: Moderate growth rate with a mature height of 6-12 feet and spread of 8 feet.

Please note: Images on our website depict plants and trees at full maturity to showcase their expected grown characteristics. These images are illustrative examples only and do not represent the size of plants or trees upon delivery.

Pruning: Prune the Crape Myrtle during late winter or early spring. Remove dead or weak branches to encourage new growth and maintain its shape. For a bushier appearance, prune back harder.

Fertilization: Fertilize in early spring using a balanced, slow-release fertilizer designed for flowering shrubs. Avoid over-fertilizing as this can reduce flowering.

Winter Protection: In cooler areas of its grow zone, mulch around the base to protect the roots from freezing temperatures. This will also help in retaining soil moisture.

Choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil for your Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle. Dig a hole twice the width of the root ball and as deep. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring it sits at the same depth as it did in its container. Fill the hole with soil, pressing it down gently to eliminate air pockets. Water the plant thoroughly after planting. For the first few weeks, keep the soil consistently moist to ensure proper establishment.

Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle flourishes best in full sun, ensuring maximum bloom potential. It's crucial to maintain consistent moisture, especially during dry spells. Water the plant deeply once a week, ensuring the soil remains moist but not waterlogged.

We process and ship your order as quickly as possible, typically within 1-3 business days. You will receive a shipping confirmation with tracking information once your item(s) ship.

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!

In cases of extreme cold or hot weather, we may temporarily delay shipping to ensure the well-being of your plants. Our primary focus is on delivering healthy and thriving plants to you. Rest assured, we'll make every effort to notify you of any delays promptly.

Please allow additional ship times during inclement weather and sale periods. We do not process or ship orders on the weekend or U.S. Holidays. Simply Trees is not responsible for delays due to carriers, local disruptions, or weather.

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At Simply Trees, we're committed to your satisfaction. If your plants arrive considerably damaged or sustained damage beyond the point of recovery, please contact us within five days at with clear photos for assistance. Our 30-day guarantee covers issues after planting, subject to our terms and conditions. We can't cover plants in the wrong climate or with inadequate care, but we're here to help in other situations. For a detailed understanding of our 30-day guarantee and how we ensure a fair process, click here to learn more.


Zones 6-10

Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle thrives in USDA Grow Zones 6-10. These zones typically experience milder winters and long growing seasons. The plant can handle both the hot summers and the cool, but not freezing, winters of these zones, ensuring robust growth and splendid blooms.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle is a relatively compact and dwarf variety of crape myrtle. It is known for its vibrant red blooms and attractive foliage. Here are the typical size and growth characteristics for this cultivar:

Mature Height: Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle typically reaches a mature height of about 2 to 4 feet. Its dwarf nature makes it a great choice for smaller gardens, borders, and container planting.

Mature Width: The mature width of Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle is similar to its height, typically spanning 2 to 4 feet. This compact width makes it well-suited for tight spaces and smaller garden areas.

Growth Rate: This crape myrtle cultivar has a moderate growth rate. It will gradually reach its mature height and width over several growing seasons, but it maintains a relatively compact and manageable size.

Size Control: Due to its compact nature, Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle requires less pruning and maintenance than larger crape myrtle varieties. However, light pruning for shape and size control may be performed as needed, typically during late winter or early spring.

The compact size and attractive red blooms of Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle make it an excellent choice for adding vibrant color to smaller garden spaces, borders, or as a focal point in containers. Its smaller stature also allows for versatility in landscaping and design, and it is well-suited for urban gardens and spaces with limited room for larger plants.

The best time of year to plant Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles or any crape myrtle variety is typically in the late winter to early spring or in the early fall. Here are some details about the best times for planting:

1. Late Winter to Early Spring (February to April):
Planting crape myrtles in late winter to early spring, just before new growth begins, is an excellent choice. This allows the plant to establish its root system before the onset of hot summer weather. By planting in late winter or early spring, you give the crape myrtle ample time to adapt to its new environment and potentially bloom in the same growing season.

2. Early Fall (September to October):
Early fall is another suitable planting time for crape myrtles, as the weather begins to cool down and there is less heat stress. Planting in early fall provides a window for root establishment before winter dormancy, allowing the plant to be well-prepared for the following spring.

While these are the optimal times for planting crape myrtles, you can also plant them during other parts of the growing season if necessary. However, avoid planting during the hot summer months when the plant may experience stress due to high temperatures and dry conditions.

When planting Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles or any crape myrtle variety, follow these general planting guidelines:

Select a Suitable Location: Choose a planting site with well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade. Ensure there is enough space for the mature size of the crape myrtle.

Prepare the Soil: Amend the soil with organic matter to improve drainage and fertility. Crape myrtles thrive in slightly acidic to neutral soil.

Dig a Proper Hole: Dig a hole that is as deep as the root ball but at least two times wider. This provides ample room for the roots to spread.

Plant at the Right Depth: Set the crape myrtle in the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil surface.

Backfill and Water: Fill in the hole with soil, tamp it down gently, and water thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets.

Mulch: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to conserve moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds.

Water Regularly: Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during the first year after planting, to help the crape myrtle establish its root system.

By planting crape myrtles at the right time of year and providing proper care, you can enjoy their beautiful blooms and attractive growth habit in your landscape.

The Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle is known for its extended and prolific blooming period, providing vibrant red blooms over an extended period during the warm months of the year. Typically, you can expect this cultivar to start blooming in late spring or early summer and continue to produce its vibrant red flowers well into the late summer and sometimes even into early fall.

The exact duration of the bloom period can vary depending on local climate, weather conditions, and the specific growing environment. However, in favorable conditions, Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle can bloom for approximately 90 to 120 days or even longer. This extended blooming period can span from late spring through the majority of the summer months.

To maximize the bloom period and encourage continuous flowering, you can practice deadheading (removing spent flower clusters) during the growing season. Deadheading helps redirect the plant's energy into producing new flower buds, which can lead to an extended and impressive display of red blooms.

Overall, the extended blooming season and vibrant red flowers make Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle a beautiful and eye-catching addition to landscapes and gardens, providing a long-lasting burst of color and visual appeal throughout the warm season.

When planting Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle, spacing is essential to ensure that each plant has enough room to grow and thrive while maintaining an attractive appearance. Here are some general guidelines for spacing when planting Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle:

Single Planting: If you are planting Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle as individual specimens or as a focal point in your landscape, it's recommended to space them approximately 4 to 6 feet apart. This spacing allows each plant to develop its mature size and shape without overcrowding.

Hedge or Border Planting: If you are creating a hedge or border with Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle, space them closer together, typically about 3 to 4 feet apart. This closer spacing will create a dense and uniform hedge or border.

Container Planting: If you plan to grow Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle in containers or large pots, make sure the containers have a diameter of at least 18 to 24 inches. You can place them closer together on a patio or around your outdoor living space.

Consider Mature Size: Keep in mind the mature size of Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle, which is relatively compact compared to some other crape myrtle varieties. Proper spacing allows for adequate air circulation and helps prevent overcrowding, which can lead to disease issues.

Future Growth: Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle will gradually reach its mature size over several growing seasons. When planting, consider the expected mature width and allow enough room for the plants to expand.

Aesthetic Considerations: When spacing Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle, consider the overall design and visual impact you want to achieve in your landscape. Proper spacing enhances their natural beauty and allows them to showcase their vibrant red blooms.

Site Preparation: Ensure that the planting site has well-draining soil and receives the appropriate amount of sunlight, as these factors can influence the overall health and growth of the plants.

By following these spacing guidelines and considering the specific needs of your landscape design, you can create an appealing and well-balanced arrangement of Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle plants while allowing each one to thrive and reach its full potential.

Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles are known for their relatively early and prolific blooming. These crape myrtles typically start blooming within the first year of planting, often in the same growing season after they are established.

The ability of Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles to bloom in the first year after planting is one of their attractive features. While the initial bloom may not be as abundant as in subsequent years, you can still expect to see flowers in the first season. As the plant becomes more established and matures, it will typically produce more extensive and more vibrant blooms in the following years.

To encourage healthy growth and maximize flowering, it's essential to provide your Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles with suitable growing conditions, including full sun, well-draining soil, adequate moisture, and occasional pruning when needed. These factors contribute to the plant's ability to bloom early and thrive throughout its lifespan.

The best place to plant Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles is in a location that provides them with the ideal growing conditions to thrive and showcase their vibrant red blooms and attractive foliage. Here are some key considerations for choosing the best planting site:

Sunlight: Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles require full sun to thrive and produce abundant blooms and vibrant foliage color. Choose a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Insufficient sunlight can result in reduced flowering and less intense foliage color.

Soil Quality: Select well-draining soil with good fertility. These crape myrtles prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil. Amending the soil with organic matter, such as compost, can improve soil structure and fertility.

Spacing: Ensure that you plant Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles with adequate spacing between each plant to accommodate their mature canopy and prevent overcrowding. Refer to recommended spacing guidelines based on your desired growth form (single planting, hedge, or container).

Protection from Wind: While crape myrtles are generally hardy, they can benefit from some protection against strong winds, especially in regions with severe storms. Planting them near structures or windbreaks can provide some shelter.

Avoid Low-Lying Areas: Avoid planting in low-lying areas where water may accumulate, as crape myrtles prefer well-drained soil. Poor drainage can lead to root rot and other health issues.

Adequate Air Circulation: Proper air circulation around the plants helps prevent fungal diseases. Avoid planting them in extremely tight or crowded spaces.

Aesthetics and Visibility: Consider the visual impact of your planting location. Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles are prized for their vibrant red blooms and attractive foliage, so choose a location where they can be prominently featured and enjoyed.

Accessibility: Ensure easy access to your crape myrtles for maintenance tasks such as pruning, deadheading, and fertilization.

Local Climate: Consider your local climate and select a location that matches the hardiness zone for Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles. They are suitable for USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 9.

By carefully selecting the right planting site that meets these criteria, you can help ensure that your Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles grow vigorously, produce abundant blooms and striking foliage color, and contribute to the beauty of your landscape. Proper site selection is essential for their long-term health and visual impact.

If your Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle is not blooming, there could be several reasons for this issue. Crape myrtles are generally known for their prolific blooms, so when they don't flower, it's essential to address the potential causes. Here are some common reasons why crape myrtles may not bloom and solutions to consider:

Insufficient Sunlight:
Crape myrtles require full sun to partial shade to produce abundant blooms. Lack of adequate sunlight can result in reduced flowering.
Solution: Ensure that your crape myrtle is planted in a location where it receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Pruning at the Wrong Time:
Pruning crape myrtles at the wrong time, especially in late winter or spring, can remove flower buds and inhibit blooming.
Solution: Prune your crape myrtle immediately after flowering in late spring or early summer. Avoid heavy pruning during the growing season.

Excessive or severe pruning can remove too much growth and reduce flowering potential.
Solution: Prune crape myrtles selectively and lightly to maintain their shape, and avoid removing more than one-third of the plant's canopy at a time.

Young crape myrtles may take a couple of years to establish themselves before producing abundant blooms.
Solution: Be patient and provide proper care to help the plant develop and mature.

Nutrient Deficiencies:
Nutrient imbalances, particularly a lack of phosphorus or potassium, can affect flowering.
Solution: Fertilize your crape myrtle with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer formulated for flowering shrubs in the spring. Consider a soil test to determine any specific nutrient deficiencies.

Water Stress:
Drought stress or inconsistent watering can lead to reduced flowering.
Solution: Ensure that your crape myrtle receives regular, deep watering during dry spells, especially during the growing season.

Disease or Pest Issues:
Diseases or pest infestations can weaken crape myrtles and affect their ability to bloom.
Solution: Inspect your plant for signs of disease or pests and treat as needed with appropriate control measures.

Varietal Differences:
Some crape myrtle varieties may naturally have different flowering patterns or may bloom less profusely than others.
Solution: Understand the typical flowering pattern of your specific crape myrtle variety and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Environmental Stress:
Extreme environmental conditions, such as severe cold snaps or excessive heat, can impact flowering.
Solution: Protect your crape myrtle from extreme conditions when possible and provide proper care to help it recover.

Old Age:
As crape myrtles age, they may naturally produce fewer blooms.
Solution: Consider rejuvenation pruning to stimulate new growth and flowering in older crape myrtles.

By addressing the specific issues affecting your crape myrtle and providing the appropriate care, you can encourage it to bloom and thrive in your landscape.

The frequency of watering Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles depends on several factors, including the age of the plant, local climate, soil type, and recent weather conditions. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine when and how often to water your crape myrtles:

Establishment Period (First Year):
During the first year after planting, Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles require regular and consistent watering to help establish a strong root system. Water deeply every 7-10 days, especially during dry periods. Ensure that the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged.

Subsequent Years (After Establishment):
Once Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles are well-established (usually after the first growing season), they are considered moderately drought-tolerant. However, they will benefit from occasional deep watering during dry spells.

Signs of Moisture Stress:
Monitor your crape myrtles for signs of moisture stress. If you notice wilting, drooping leaves, or the soil around the plant feels dry to the touch, it's time to water.

Watering Depth:
When you water, it's important to provide enough moisture to penetrate the root zone. Water deeply, allowing the water to soak into the soil to a depth of at least 6-8 inches.

Applying a layer of organic mulch (e.g., wood chips or shredded bark) around the base of your Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles can help retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and reduce evaporation. Mulch also helps suppress weeds.

Seasonal Adjustments:
Adjust your watering schedule based on the season and local weather conditions. Crape myrtles may require more frequent watering during hot, dry summer months and less during cooler, rainy periods.

Consider natural rainfall when determining your watering schedule. If your area receives consistent rainfall, you may need to water less frequently.

Drought Tolerance:
Keep in mind that Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles, once established, are moderately drought-tolerant. It's better to slightly underwater than to overwater these plants.

Regularly monitor the soil moisture and the plant's condition to help you determine the appropriate watering frequency. The goal is to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged to promote healthy growth and flowering. Adjust your watering regimen as needed to accommodate changing weather conditions and seasonal variations.

Yes, it is generally a good practice to cut off dead or spent blooms from crape myrtles, including Center Stage Red Crape Myrtles. This process, known as deadheading, offers several benefits:

Promotes Additional Blooms: Deadheading encourages the crape myrtle to produce new flower buds and continue blooming throughout the growing season. It can result in more vibrant and extended flowering.

Enhances Aesthetics: Removing dead or faded blooms improves the overall appearance of the plant, making it look neater and tidier. It also prevents the plant from having a littered or unkempt appearance due to dead flowers.

Prevents Seed Formation: Deadheading prevents the formation of seeds in the spent flowers. While crape myrtle seeds are not typically problematic, removing spent flowers can help conserve the plant's energy for producing more blooms and foliage.

Here's how to deadhead crape myrtles effectively:

1. Use clean and sharp pruning shears or hand pruners.

2. Cut the faded or dead flower clusters just above a set of healthy leaves or buds. Make the cut at a 45-degree angle, leaving a small portion of the stem.

3. Remove all the dead or faded blooms on each branch, working your way through the entire plant.

4. Continue to deadhead throughout the growing season, especially when you notice spent flowers.

5. Avoid heavy pruning or removing significant portions of the plant, especially during the growing season, as this can remove potential flower buds for future blooms.

Deadheading is a simple and effective way to maintain the appearance and encourage the Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle. It's best to perform this task regularly, especially after each bloom cycle, to maximize the plant's blooming potential and overall beauty.

Pruning Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle is important for maintaining its shape, promoting vigorous growth, and encouraging abundant blooming. Here are some guidelines for pruning your crape myrtle:

Pruning Time:
The ideal time to prune Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle is during the late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. This dormant season pruning helps prevent damage to new growth and promotes healthy flowering.

Remove Dead or Diseased Growth:
Start by inspecting the plant for dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Remove these branches at their base, cutting them back to healthy wood. This helps improve the overall health of the plant.

Thinning and Shaping:
Thin out crowded or crossing branches to improve air circulation within the canopy and maintain an open and balanced structure. Aim to create a well-spaced framework that allows light and air to reach all parts of the plant.

Height Control:
If you want to maintain a specific height for your Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle, prune branches accordingly. Make cuts just above outward-facing buds or lateral branches to encourage branching and create a pleasing shape. Avoid "topping" or severe pruning, as it can lead to an unnatural appearance and reduce the number of flowers produced.

Remove Suckers and Low Growth:
Regularly check for suckers or shoots emerging from the base of the plant or around the graft union (if applicable). Remove these growths to prevent them from sapping energy from the main plant. Trim or prune any low, horizontal branches that may obstruct walkways or interfere with the plant's natural form.

To encourage continuous flowering, deadhead (remove spent flower clusters) during the growing season. This practice redirects the plant's energy into producing new flower buds.

Pruning Tools:
Use sharp, clean pruning shears or loppers for smaller branches and a pruning saw for larger ones. Make clean cuts to minimize the risk of disease entry.

Minimal Pruning for Mature Plants:
Once your Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle is well-established, it may require less pruning than younger plants. Focus on maintenance pruning to remove dead or crossing branches and maintain the plant's natural form.

Timing for Flowering Impact:
Keep in mind that while pruning during the dormant season is best for overall plant health, it may reduce the number of early-season blooms. However, this can lead to more compact growth and an extended blooming period later in the season.

Avoid excessive or aggressive pruning, as it can stress the plant and reduce flowering. Instead, aim for selective pruning that enhances the natural beauty of your Center Stage Red Crape Myrtle while maintaining a healthy and well-structured plant. Proper pruning helps ensure that your crape myrtle continues to flourish and produce vibrant red blooms each year.

Our Process

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!