How to Grow Crape Myrtles in Cold Climates
By: Julie Day
Can I grow a crape myrtle indoors as a houseplant? I live in Ohio and bought one on a recent trip down South. -Lois
Crape myrtles aren’t suited for growing as houseplants, because they need a period of winter dormancy as part of their growth and blooming cycle. Bringing them indoors to a year-round warm environment won’t change that cycle, it’ll just make them suffer.
Most crape myrtle varieties are winter hardy to zone 7, which corresponds to a minimum winter temperature of 0° to 10° F. Depending on where you live in Ohio, you may be in zone 5 or 6, where crape myrtles will need some winter protection in order to survive.
Follow these tips with growing crape myrtles in colder climates:
- Grow Crape Myrtles as Perennials: In zone 6 (and sometimes zone 5), many crape myrtles can be grown outdoors as perennials, which means they’ll likely die back to the ground over the winter then resprout in spring. Since they’ll never become large, you might want to try this with dwarf varieties that stay low and bushy.