Which is better in a Red Rocket Crape Myrtle vs Dynamite showdown? Both are shrub-like trees from the same family also called crape myrtle or crepe myrtle. Both have a use as hedges and are native to the Mediterranean.

Who will win the Red Rocket Crape Myrtle vs Dynamite showdown when it comes down to nuances.

Which Tree Is Better: Red Rocket or Dynamite Crape Myrtle?

Red Rocket Dynamite Crepe
USDA zones 6–9 6–10
Preferred light Full sun Full sun
Watering Occasional when established Occasional when established
Flowering time Summer Summer
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
Patented Yes Yes

 

Similarities Between Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle

Both Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe myrtle belong to the same family. This family, Lagerstroemia, has been used in landscaping in the US for 150 years.

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 crape myrtle for. Then, learn what an ideal crape myrtle 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 three 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 in 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 crape myrtle attribute.

About the Bark of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle

Crapemyrtles shed their bark and that’s normal. Some people even like the bark-shedding process. Once the bark sheds, there is a new layer of bark beneath. It’s often of a different color, which adds more variety to the crape 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:

  • cream
  • warm beige
  • cinnamon
  • bright red
  • green-gray
  • 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

Crape myrtles 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 crape myrtle, you will get lush growth.

Crapemyrtles do not tolerate salt. Don’t irrigate them with saltwater. 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 crape myrtle weak to powdery mildew where the air flows. Full sun makes a crape myrtle 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 crape myrtle 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 in early summer when both types have their growth spurt. Mulch up to three 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 one inch, irrigate for a few months. As it grows, crape myrtle 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 a whitish powder. The mildew stunts crape myrtle growth and blooming, appearing in spring and autumn. There is no cure to the mildew except planting a resistant crape myrtle type.

Crapemyrtle aphid (Tinocallis kahawaluokalani) is a pale yellow, tiny bug. It feeds exclusively on crape myrtles , 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

Crape myrtle plants are by far the most versatile landscaping plants.

You can use them as:

  • plants in hanging baskets
  • large perennial bedding plants
  • shrubs
  • groundcovers
  • 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 form 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 crape myrtle for hanging baskets. Whatever you choose, plant evergreens in the background for contrast. Dark mulches or groundcovers also highlight crape myrtle bark and trunk beauty.

Propagation of Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle

You can propagate crape myrtles by:

  • softwood
  • semi-hardwood
  • hardwood
  • 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.

Conclusion

In this article, you’ve found out that:

  • Crape myrtle plants got their name from their petals looking like crepes
  • Clusters of flowers on crepe myrtle plants are called panicles
  • Red Rocket and Dynamite Crepe Myrtle are almost identical in appearance
  • Crape myrtles are resistant to all pests except aphids, mold, and mildew
  • One type of aphid feeds exclusively on crape myrtles, stunting its growth
  • Protect a crape myrtle from salt and saltwater or it will suffer
  • Don’t excessively prune a crape myrtle or it will lose its shape
  • Plant a crape myrtle in full sun to get the best crown shape and bloom size
  • You can use crape myrtles in any landscaping and ornamental role

The Dynamite vs Red Rocket Crepe Myrtle showdown ended in the only way possible — a draw.

Both types are strikingly similar but have enough differences worth exploring. Take your time, absorb all the details, and pick your personal favorite.

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