I have 2 hardy crape myrtles in containers. One in a 16" barrel and the
other in a 12" barrel. They are doing just fine. I was wondering if
they can be Bonsaied, is there is such a word. I think I read somewhere
that most tropicals can, and also they have to remain outside all the
time. There is the rub. Here in NYC area won't they die duing
winters..in a container..even if they are hardy?
Yes, Crape Myrtle make lovely bonsai. A nice way to get an interesting
twisty trunk it to use root cuttings, just pot them up and they take off.
Your tree will need winter protection, you can simply bury the pot in the
ground, or heap pine needles around it, or keep it in a cool greenhouse or
shade house for the winter.
David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
Crape myrtles are decidious. So you could, if you have the right garden
situation, let them drop their leaves with the first frosts in October or
early November, and then move them into the coolest indoor location you
have - an unheated garage, a chilly basement, a shed - anywhere that will
keep them dormant until April or so, when you can bring them out and let
them leaf out in the slightly warmer temps of spring. At regular house
temps, they would probably leaf out too early and suffer in the low-light
situation of a northern winter indoors. I keep a number of marginal plants
this way. Fuchsias, passion vines, some potted perennials that are marginal
(from the lobelia family). I just put them in my unheated garage, which
stays in the mid-30's to 40 degrees from December through March.
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