Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma')

Written by Iris

Aug 09 2021

Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma')
From early summer to late summer, Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma') is covered in stunning white frilly flower panicles at the ends of branches. Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma') has attractive dark green leaves that appear copper-colored in the spring. The oval leaves of Acoma Crape Myrtle are very ornamental, but do not form any noticeable fall color.

Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma') Picture

 Acoma Crape Myrtle

Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma') Info

Botanical Name Lagerstroemia x ‘Acoma’
Common Name Acoma crape myrtle
Plant Type Tree
Mature Size 2 to 10 feet tall and 2 to 10 feet wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Well-draining 
Soil pH Slightly acidic to neutral
Bloom Time Spring, summer

Ecological Habits of Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma')

Acoma crape myrtle trees (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Acoma’) are hybrid trees with a semi-dwarf, semi-pendulous habit. Acoma Crape Myrtle are filled with slightly drooping, snowy, showy flowers all summer long. These Acoma Crape Myrtle trees put on an attractive autumn display at the end of the summer. The foliage turns purple before it falls. Acoma Crape Myrtle only grows to about 9.5 feet (2.9 m.) tall and 11 feet (3.3 m.) wide. The trees usually have multiple trunks. This is why the trees can be wider than they are tall.

Acoma Crape Myrtle History

Acoma Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) was introduced into the United States around the time of its founding. It was quickly propagated and grown throughout the south. The only species grown in the US was Lagerstroemia indica, which blooms for a long time but is quite susceptible to powdery mildew. For over 200 years this shrub has been bred and improved cultivars released.
In the 1950's, John Creech (of the US National Arboretum) undertook an expedition to Japan looking for interesting new plants, and he sent back seeds from the Japanese crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia fauriei. 5 of these seedlings were planted at the North Carolina State University, on the site where their arboretum now stands. One of those seedlings exhibited an attractive upright form with interesting bark that exfoliates to reveal a smooth trunk mottled with orange, white and brown colors. This selection was later named 'Fantasy' and is still available in the trade.
Acoma Crape Myrtle

How to Grow and Care for Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma')

How to Grow Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma')

  • With Cuttings
Follow these steps to propagate Acoma Crape Myrtle with cuttings:
Use clean scissors or garden shears to remove hardwood or softwood cuttings of Acoma Crape Myrtle. Hardwood cuttings should be about eight inches in length. Take hardwood cuttings once the tree has become dormant for the year, typically in the late fall. Softwood cuttings are obtained in the spring or summer and should be about six inches in length with several nodes.
Plant the Acoma Crape Myrtle cutting in a container with quality potting soil, leaving about one inch of the cutting above the soil line.
Maintain soil moisture and position the pot in a location that receives plenty of sun. Softwood cuttings should see new growth in about a month. Hardwood cuttings will grow more slowly, but won't be ready for planting until summer anyway.
Once the cutting has taken root and is showing signs of new growth, it can be planted out. Be sure to water generously and position your new Acoma Crape Myrtle in a location with abundant light.

How to Care for Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma')

  • Light
Acoma Crape Myrtle needs full sun (6 or more hours per day) to thrive. With less sunlight, blooms will not be as prolific and their colors may be diminished.
  • Soil
Although Acoma Crape Myrtle can be grown in virtually any soil, foliage may turn yellow if soil is too alkaline. Good drainage is required for any type of soil.
  • Water
Once established, Acoma Crape Myrtle are quite drought tolerant. During the first few growing seasons, Acoma Crape Myrtle should be watered regularly and deeply once a week, or twice a week in extremely hot weather.
  • Temperature and Humidity
Like other Crape Myrtle varieties that thrive in the sun and heat, the Acoma crape myrtle does well even in hot climates, and it has a tolerance for humidity or drought.
On the other end of the spectrum, it is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 9, and can generally withstand temperatures down to about zero-degrees Fahrenheit successfully.
  • Fertilizer
Acoma Crape Myrtle prefers well-draining clay, loam, or sandy soils. The pH level of the soil should be 5.5 to 7.5. Apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer in the spring as soon as the leaves appear and again in two months.
  • Pruning
Acoma Crape Myrtle flowers on new growth of the season, so if you choose to prune, do so in the dormant season, i.e. later winter to early spring before growth resumes. Avoid pruning Acoma Crape Myrtle in early fall before the first frost, because pruning forces new growth and keeps the plant from going dormant. Severe freezes can kill the plant if it is not fully dormant.
Acoma Crape Myrtle

Uses of Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma')

Grow Acoma crape myrtles as specimen and accents, narrow trees for fast shade, allée along streets or driveways, screens, or stately groups underplanted with groundcovers, bulbs, or small shrubs. Small varieties grow well in large containers mixed with other smaller plants.

Varieties of Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma')

Not too long ago the main type of crepe myrtles grown were Lagerstroemia indica varieties. Today there are a couple of different species and a multitude of crosses and hybrids. Realistically, this doesn't make an enormous amount of difference, as when you shop for a crepe myrtle chances are your main concerns will be flower colour and size. Nonetheless, it always helps to have a bit of an understanding about the names you may encounter.
Lagerstroemia indica: the more ‘traditional' varieties.
Lagerstroemia fauriei increasingly popular species, generally only white flowering in species form.
Lagerstroemia fauriei x indica and Lagerstroemia indica x L. fauriei: newer hybrids in a range of colours.
You'll also find varieties named more generally, such as Lagerstroemia “'Midnight Magic”.
Acoma Crape Myrtle

Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma') Common Pests/Diseases

The major problems with crape myrtle include Japanese beetle, aphids, whitefly and powdery mildew. Again, providing a good location and proper sizing to fit the site will minimize most of these problems, but monitor for them and treat as needed.
Spraying a large crape myrtle can be difficult, so systemic drenches are often the recommendation treatment. I'm not a fan of these types of products for curing infestations, but they seem to do a tolerable job as preventatives where the problems have been known to exist in the past. For a bad infestation on a large specimen, you may want to have a professional handle the job.

Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma') Design Tips

Growing crape myrtle trees and shrubs in your garden is the perfect way to add beauty and color to landscapes. The long-blooming time of crape myrtle trees means you can enjoy their showy flowers for many months.
Depending on the type of crape myrtle shrub you plant, you can grow small flowering trees, colorful hedges, or use them to beautify mixed beds. Dwarf crape myrtle bushes are also ideal for growing in containers. You can place potted crape myrtle plants on balconies, patios, or deck areas to add greenery and color.
Here some popular ways to grow crape myrtles in gardens.
  • Crape myrtle shrubs for hedges and screens
Crape myrtle bushy growth means the shrubby plants are ideal as flowering hedges and dense privacy screens. Evergreen crape myrtles will also provide year-long privacy for your backyard. Plant crape myrtle shrubs around 4 to 6 ft. (1.2 – 1.8 m) apart to create a dense hedgerow. Prune thin woody branches every winter to encourage lush growth.
  • Crape myrtle are beautiful specimen trees
Large crape myrtle shrubs can be trained to grow as single-stemmed specimen trees. Some crape myrtle varieties have large, rounded crowns that provide shade in sunny gardens. The beautiful trees add plenty of long-lasting colors and bloom longer than other landscape trees.
  • Crape myrtle bushes can be excellent shrub borders
Small crape myrtle shrubs are perfect for growing along driveways, paths, and planting at the front of the house. The lush green foliage and colorful flowers create colorful borders around your garden. The spectacular crape myrtle floral displays add to the aesthetics of your landscaped garden.
Acoma Crape Myrtle

Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma') Companion Plants

Acoma Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Acoma') Companion Plants  are Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis), Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), Lilyturf (Liriope), Rock Rose (Cistus), Lantana (Lantana) and Clematis (Clematis)