Dramatic Crapemyrtle Combinations
By Kimberly Toscano
Distinctive burgundy foliage gives the Delta Crapemyrtle Series an edge in the garden. The richly-hued foliage harmonizes with a range of colors, from vibrant gold to subdued blues. And a diverse palette of flower colors offers endless opportunities for spectacular plant pairings. With such a stunning specimen, it is best to keep surroundings simple. For maximum impact, consider using just one variety as an underplanting for the crapemyrtle. Read on to discover the best ways to put these beauties to use in your landscape.
Covering the floor beneath a crapemyrtle with a groundcover or mass planting is an age-old technique that has not lost merit. Underplanting works well in both formal and natural garden designs. The main consideration is proportion. Avoid overwhelming the crapemyrtle with a large ground layer planting. Stick to low-growing plants and consider building the understory over time. A small, newly planted Delta Eclipse™ Crapemyrtle is charming with a soft carpet of Endurascape™ ‘White Blush’ Verbena. As the specimen grows, replace the ground layer with larger perennials or small shrubs. For a formal design, pair Delta Fuchsia™ Crapemyrtle with Baby Gem™ Boxwood.
The new introductions Delta Fuchsia™ and Delta Fusion™ add even more variety to an already stellar line-up, which includes lavender, red, white and pink blooms. When selecting plant companions, consider both foliage color and flower color. Pinks, for example, work well with burgundy foliage, but clash with the red blooms of Delta Flame™.
Color may be used to set the mood of a garden. For a serene atmosphere, pair Delta Breeze™ with a carpet of Beyond Blue™ Festuca. The silver-blue foliage is a soft complement to the lavender blooms and maroon foliage. For a livelier planting, contrast Delta Fusion™ Crapemyrtle with the bright gold of Evercolor® ‘Everillo’ Carex or ‘Sunshine’ Ligustrum.
As with color, the visual contrast in flower size between the crapemyrtle and the ground layer planting affects the tone or ambiance of a space. Larger flowers provide greater contrast, adding energy and excitement to a planting, whereas low contrast lends itself to a more tranquil setting. The color and size of Evergreen Stella™ Daylily flowers provide high contrast to Delta Flame™ Crapemyrtle for a bold look. Another striking combination pairs the large flower heads of Little Blue Fountain™ Agapanthus with the cool colors of Delta Moonlight™ Crapemyrtle. For a softer, more elegant planting, set Delta Jazz® above a bed of Chef’s Choice® Rosemary.
Shape it up
One final consideration is pruning. All of the Delta Crapemyrtles produce dense, multi-stemmed upright growth. The plants may be maintained as a large shrub or pruned into a tree form by removing all but three to five of the strongest trunks. Tree forms work best as specimens, where the trunk, bark and branching structure contribute to the plant’s overall charm. Shrub forms make excellent accents in a mixed border and work well in mass plantings. Both forms will shine using the above plant combinations.