Crepe Myrtle Lifespan: How Long Do Crepe Myrtle Trees Live

Large Crepe Myrtle Tree
(Image credit: Licec)

Crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia) is affectionately called the lilac of the south by Southern gardeners. This attractive small tree or shrub is valued for its long blooming season and its low maintenance growing requirements. Crepe myrtle has a moderate to long life span. For more information about the lifespan of crepe myrtles, read on.

Crepe Myrtle Information

Crepe myrtle is a versatile plant with many ornamental features. The perennial tree flowers all summer long, producing showy flowers in white, pink, red, or lavender. Its exfoliating bark is also lovely, peeling back to expose the inner trunk. It is especially ornamental in winter when the leaves have fallen. Crepe myrtle leaves change color in autumn. White-blossomed trees often have leaves that turn yellow in fall, while those with pink/red/lavender blossoms have leaves that turn yellow, orange, and red. These easy-care ornamentals are drought tolerant after they are about two years old. They can grow in either alkaline or acid soil.

How Long Do Crepe Myrtle Trees Live?

If you want to know “How long do crepe myrtle trees live,” the answer depends on the location of planting and the care you give this plant. Crepe myrtle can be a low maintenance plant, but that doesn’t mean it requires no maintenance at all. You have to be sure that you select a cultivar that suits your region, hardiness zone and landscape. You can pick one of the dwarf 3 to 6 feet (1-2 m.), or semi dwarf 7 to 15 feet (2-5 m.) cultivars if you don’t have a large garden. In order to give your tree the best chance at a long life, select a planting location that offers well-drained soil with full direct sun. If you plant in partial shade or full shade, you’ll get less flowers and the crepe myrtle lifespan may also be limited because of increased disease susceptibility.

Lifespan of Crepe Myrtle

Crepe myrtles live quite a few years if you take care of them. A crepe myrtle lifespan can exceed 50 years. So that’s the answer to the question “how long do crepe myrtle trees live?” They can live a good, long time with suitable care.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.