Which is better in a Red Rocket Crape Myrtle vs Dynamite showdown? Both are shrub-like trees from the same family. Both have a use as hedges and are native to the Mediterranean.
Who will win the Red Rocket Crape Myrtle vs Dynamite showdown comes down to nuances.
Which tree is better: Red Rocket or Dynamite Crape Myrtle?
|Red Rocket||Dynamite Crepe|
|Preferred light||Full sun||Full sun|
|Watering||Occasional when established||Occasional when established|
|Uses||Urban garden, firescaping, container growing||Privacy screen, firescaping, landscaping|
|Landscape size||20–30 feet tall and wide||15–25 feet tall and wide|
|Latin name||Lagerstroemia indica ‘Whit IV’||Lagerstroemia indica ‘Whit II’|
|Flower color||Cherry red||True red|
|Bark color||Nondescript tan||Light beige|
Similarities between Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle
Other plants in the same family are:
- Lagerstroemia fauriei
- Lagerstroemia subcostata
- Lagerstroemia limii
By breeding those plants with one another, breeders have made many types of the Crepe myrtle. Two of those types are Red Rocket and Dynamite. They are very similar but not identical. Where they differ are nuances you have to ask the vendor about.
Each Red Rocket and Dynamite plant has its own attributes. You should first figure out what you want the crapemyrtle for. Then, learn what an ideal crapemyrtle variety is like. Finally, contact the vendor and ask for specific attributes to see which one fits better.
Leaves of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle
On Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle, leaves are spoon-shaped or rounded. They average 3 inches in length.
In the spring, leaves of both types have a red tinge and by summer they turn dark green. In North Florida and further north, foliage often turns yellow, orange, and red. This happens by autumn. Some types can grow twice a year, producing bronze or burgundy foliage.
By winter, the leaves fall off, turning both types into living statues. The form of the tree is gnarly and sinuous but attractive. Their bark is smooth, making them a year-round landscaping favorite.
Flowers of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle
Petals of Dynamite Crape Myrtle trees and Red Crape Myrtle varieties resemble crepes. Their crinkled look is what inspired the name. Flowers bloom from late spring to fall in clusters of flowers known as “panicles”. They can be 6–18 inches in size and have hundreds of 1–2 inch flowers.
True red panicles are a relatively recent crapemyrtle attribute.
Bark of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle
You don’t have to treat or worry about a shedding crapemyrtle. Enjoy the warm colors that appear.
They can change as time goes on and can be:
- warm beige
- bright red
- dark red
When the bark starts falling away, you can pull it off by hand. It will come off in long strips. One theory says trees do this bark shedding to shake off pests.
Requirements of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle
Crapemyrtles tolerate Florida-like conditions well. They can tolerate droughts and poor soil well. Available water and fertilizer limit the Red Rocket Crape Myrtle growth rate. If you can provide both to your crapemyrtle, you will get lush growth.
Crapemyrtles do not tolerate salt. Don’t irrigate them with salt water. If you plant them near a coast, protect them from salt spray and other salt influences. Avoid wet soil or the plant may grow poorly.
Find loamy, slightly acidic soils with 5–6.5 pH. Place a crapemyrtle weak to powdery mildew where the air flows. Full sun makes a crapemyrtle bloom fully and makes its crown symmetrical.
Pruning of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle
Avoid pruning your crapemyrtle too much. Pick the best possible fit for your intended use. Otherwise, excessive pruning can make your crapemyrtle stunted. Prune after the leaves fall off when you can see the tree shape.
Pruning too early in the fall may cause a second growth. If the first freeze hits this second growth, the plant is in trouble. Don’t do any frequent or annual hard pruning; you may prune old panicles to promote a second bloom. This might not be practical for you if the plant is too big, though. If you notice a natural second bloom, forget about this kind of pruning.
Dwarf types of crapemyrtles sometimes produce tall shoots. Remove them or your dwarf groundcover will ruin the vista. If you notice these shoots falling on the ground, remove them in the spring.
Planting of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle
It’s easy to plant or transplant either type. The best time for planting is early summer when both types have their growth spurt. Mulch up to 3 inches deep.
Irrigate the newly planted crapemyrtles for the first few weeks. You’ll aid their establishment that way. If you’re planting a tree whose trunk is larger than 1 inch, irrigate for a few months. As it grows, crapemyrtle roots will extend its roots into nearby lawns for nutrients.
If you want a small tree, you should remove the smallest stems. Leave 1–5 stems, depending on if you want a single-trunk or a multi-trunk tree. You will notice water sprouts from roots or the main stems. Remove these too and any twiggy growth on shrubs weak to diseases.
Pests of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle
Powdery mildew is the most dangerous pest of crapemyrtles. This fungus favors shady, wet, and cool conditions and appears as whitish powder. The mildew stunts crapemyrtle growth and blooming, appearing in spring and autumn. There is no cure to the mildew except planting a resistant crapemyrtle type.
Crapemyrtle aphid (Tinocallis kahawaluokalani) is a pale yellow, tiny bug. It feeds exclusively on crapemyrtles, sucking sap from their leaves. They can easily overwhelm the plant and suck it dry. Curb their growth by spraying insecticides and natural oils.
Aphids’ feeding can produce a sugary liquid known as “honeydew”. It draws in the sooty mold fungus (Capnodium), which appears as black stains on stems and leaves. It’s not as dangerous as mildew but can stunt growth. Curb it with insecticides and oils.
Landscaping uses of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle
You can use them as:
- plants in hanging baskets
- large perennial bedding plants
- container plants
- small trees
- medium trees
Multi – or single-stemmed crapemyrtle varieties are great for giving shade. Place them near patios, entrances, and walkways. You can also use them as flowering specimen trees. Plant groups of shrub forms as an accent in a shrub border.
Dwarf varieties serve as big groundcovers or container plants to spruce up the view. These are the perfect kind of crapemyrtle for hanging baskets. Whatever you choose, plant evergreens in the background for contrast. Dark mulches or groundcovers also highlight crapemyrtle bark and trunk beauty.
Propagation of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle
You can propagate crapemyrtles by:
- root cuttings
The first two root with ease if you take them in spring or summer. Hardwood cuttings also root easily if taken from dormant plants. Root cuttings fare the worst. Dig them in early spring and plant them in a greenhouse to boost their chances.
Collect, dry, and store seed capsules that ripen in the autumn. You don’t have to pre-treat the seeds; they will germinate within 20 days after sowing. Sow them during spring, when the days start to lengthen. The plants you get out of seeds will vary by a big margin.
In this article, you’ve found out that:
- Crapemyrtle plants got their name from their petals looking like crepes
- Clusters of flowers on crepemyrtle plants are called panicles
- Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle are almost identical in appearance
- Crapemyrtles are resistant to all pests except aphids, mold, and mildew
- One type of aphid feeds exclusively on crapemyrtles, stunting its growth
- Protect a crapemyrtle from salt and salt water or it will suffer
- Don’t excessively prune a crapemyrtle or it will lose its shape
- Plant a crapemyrtle in full sun to get the best crown shape and bloom size
- You can use crapemyrtles in any landscaping and ornamental role
The Dynamite vs Red Rocket Crepe Myrtle showdown ended in the only way possible — draw.
Both types are strikingly similar but have enough differences worth exploring. Take your time, absorb all the details, and pick your favorite.