Acoma Crape Myrtle (Updated 2023)

As a gardening enthusiast, I have always been captivated by the beauty and versatility of plants. Over the years, I have encountered many remarkable species, but none have impressed me quite like the Acoma crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia x ‘Acoma’). This hybrid variety of the crape myrtle, with its striking features and easy maintenance, has become a favorite in gardens and landscapes across the country.

The Acoma crape myrtle, also known as Acoma crepe myrtle, stands out for its unique characteristics. Unlike other crape myrtles that can grow tall and tree-like, Acoma remains a rounded shrub, reaching a height of 10 feet and spreading as much as 10 feet across. The clusters of pure white flowers, delicately hanging from its branches, add a touch of elegance and grace to any setting. What’s more, it is highly resistant to the mildew that often plagues older crape myrtle varieties, ensuring it maintains its clean and healthy appearance all summer long.

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Versatility and Adaptability

One of the things that make the Acoma crape myrtle so appealing is its adaptability. It thrives in hot, sunny environments, making it an ideal choice for gardens in urban or suburban areas. Whether you have a small garden or a spacious lawn, Acoma fits right in. Its moderate growth rate allows you to witness its transformation over time, making it a joy to cultivate.

Planting and Care

Acoma crape myrtles are relatively low-maintenance, making them a favorite among both novice and experienced gardeners. To ensure their well-being, provide them with full sun exposure, at least six hours of sunlight each day, and well-draining soil. They can tolerate a variety of soil types, including loam, clay, or sandy soils, as long as the drainage is good.

When first planting an Acoma crape myrtle, ensure it receives regular watering until it becomes established. Once mature, these trees have modest water needs and can handle periods of drought. However, during the bloom season, it’s essential to maintain adequate watering to promote a showy display of white blossoms.

The Acoma crape myrtle is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 9, showcasing its resilience even in hotter climates. However, it’s crucial to protect it from prolonged cold and harsh winter winds, especially in cooler areas. Planting it in a sheltered spot or near other trees or buildings can provide the necessary protection.

Pruning and Propagation

Pruning is a crucial aspect of maintaining the health and appearance of Acoma crape myrtles. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. For those who prefer the tree form, light pruning is essential to encourage a horizontal canopy with abundant flowering. Removing spent blossoms and trimming lower branches will help maintain a tidy and attractive appearance.

Propagation of Acoma crape myrtle can be achieved through cuttings or seeds. Taking cuttings from hardwood or softwood and planting them in a suitable container with quality potting soil can lead to successful propagation. For those interested in starting from seeds, collecting Crape Myrtle seed pods and sowing them in a blend of potting soil and seed-starting mix can yield excellent results.

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Varieties and Alternatives

While Acoma crape myrtle is a stunning choice, there are numerous other crape myrtle varieties to explore. Some offer blooms in colors other than white, ranging from lavender and pink to red and purple. Popular varieties like ‘Apalachee’, ‘Cherokee’, ‘Dynamite’, and ‘Cheyenne’ offer unique flower colors and growth habits that can add variety and beauty to any landscape.

For those seeking alternatives to crape myrtles, chaste trees, redbuds, sweet tea olive trees, or Chinese parasol trees are excellent choices that also bring lovely flowers and unique characteristics to the garden.

Acoma Crape Myrtle vs Natchez

The distinction between Acoma crape myrtle and Natchez crape myrtle lies in their sizes and growth characteristics; while both trees feature white blooms and are frequently mistaken for each other, Natchez crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia x ‘Natchez’) attains greater heights of 25 to 30 feet upon maturity, accompanied by a nearly equivalent spread, which is larger compared to the Acoma crape myrtle.

Embrace the Beauty of Acoma Crape Myrtle

In conclusion, the Acoma crape myrtle is a remarkable plant that deserves a place in every garden and landscape. Its beauty, adaptability, and ease of care make it an excellent choice for both beginners and seasoned gardeners. With its stunning white blooms, rich foliage, and year-round appeal, Acoma crape myrtle is truly a showstopper that will continue to captivate and inspire gardeners for years to come. So, if you’re looking to add a touch of glamour to your outdoor space, consider embracing the beauty of Acoma crape myrtle and witness its splendor firsthand.

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