small tree or shrub with deciduous leaves from the tropical areas of Asia and Australia, in the wild it can reach a height of 10-15 meters. It has oval, pointed, bright green leaves, becoming yellow-orange before falling in autumn; the trunk is brown, very smooth, with patches of lighter and darker color. In summer it produces small flowers of pink, purple, white or red, which cover the apexes of the branches, gathered in pyramidal racemes. At the end of summer it bears small roundish fruits. The branches have a sinuous and twisted shape, and make the plant very decorative even in winter. Quite appreciated as a bonsai plant, it can also be recommended to a beginner.
prune lightly in spring, before the buds appear, drastic pruning should be done in autumn, to encourage the production of buds in spring; at the beginning of the vegetative period and in autumn trim the buds, leaving 2-3 leaves. The wire is applied before the appearance of the flowers and after flowering, throughout the year.
Display and watering
Exposure: the Lagerstroemia is placed in a very bright place, even if in summer it is good to shade it on the hottest days. It does not fear the cold, but it is advisable to protect it if the winter frosts are too persistent; avoid excessively shaded positions.
Watering: during the vegetative period, from April to October, supply water often and regularly. In winter thin out the waterings. Fertilize in spring and summer every two weeks.
use a loose, rich and well-drained soil; a substrate suitable for these plants can be prepared by mixing two parts of composting soil, a part of peat, a part of sand and a part of clay. In general, lagestroemias do not have very rapid growth, but it is however good to repot the young specimens every 2-3 years, at the end of winter.
Lagestroemia - Lagerstroemia: Multiplication and diseases
Multiplication: in spring it is possible to sow the lagestroemie in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts, the seedbars should be kept in a sheltered, fairly bright and humid place, until germination has taken place. Towards the end of the summer it is possible to take the semi-woody tips of the branches to propagate the plant by cuttings; cuttings of lagestroemia do not take root very easily, it is therefore advisable to use rooting hormone and produce numerous cuttings.
Pests and diseases: these plants are affected by floury cochineal, mites and aphids; sometimes during flowering the racemes become covered with powdery mildew.