Explore the world of crape myrtles in this red rocket vs dynamite crape myrtle face-off. From tiny shrubs to towering trees, bright, bold colors to gentle hues, crepe myrtles exude gardening splendor like few other plants.
But with so many different types of crepe myrtles available, it can be hard to decide which one to choose.
So whether you’re a seasoned gardener or simply seeking to invite some excitement back into your garden, we’ll help you decide which crape myrtle variety between the two is best for you in this expert guide.
Here is a quick table of comparison detailing the differences between these two varieties.
|Dynamite Crape Myrtle||Red Rocket Crape Myrtle|
|Full Growth Height||20 to 25 feet||20 to 30 feet|
|Spread||10 to 15 feet||15 to 20 feet|
|Hardiness Zone||6 to 9||6 to 9|
|Soil Requirement||Moist, well-drained with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0||Moist, well-drained with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0|
|Water Demands||1 time/week in drought conditions||1 time/week in drought conditions|
What Is the Difference Between Red Rocket and Dynamite Crape Myrtle?
The main difference between the red rocket and the dynamite crape myrtle is that the red rocket has more and longer flower clusters compared to the shorter ones of the dynamite crape myrtle. The red rocket also has a faster growth rate at 5 feet each year compared to the dynamite crape myrtle, which grows approximately 3 feet each year.
What Is Red Rocket Crape Myrtle Best For?
The red rocket crape myrtle is best for those who want a beautiful plant, as this plant is known for its beautiful striking colors and flower petals resembling crepe paper. This crape myrtle variety can add a mystical visual interest to your landscaping. Moreover, it works well as a standalone plant or even as part of an assorted collection.
Both dynamite and red rocket crape myrtle belong to the Lagerstroemia indica species. Initially, the species was distributed majorly in Asia, but over time it spread widely throughout the globe.
A full grown red rocket crape myrtle tree can grow up to 30 feet in height with a spread of 20 to 25 feet. Ideal growing conditions for red rockets require at least six hours of direct sunlight every day, and they thrive in moist, well-drained soil.
Keep reading to learn about the leading advantages as well as shortcomings of growing red rocket crape myrtle if you want to make an informed decision.
– Why You Should Grow Them
Here are some reasons why gardeners love growing this gorgeous plant.
– Big Flower Clusters
One of the major reasons many people choose to grow red rocket crape myrtles is because they produce huge clusters of flowers in a cherry-red color. In fact, these flower clusters can even grow up to 2 feet in length. Additionally, the plant grows rapidly, and you can expect your tree plant to grow around up to 5 feet per year.
Compared to dynamite crape myrtles, the red rocket has more flower clusters. The flower clusters of red rockets are approximately 22 to 24 inches long, with wrinkled petals. This extends a unique charm to the plant.
– Low-maintenance and Nature-friendly
Red rocket is the lushest and most voluminous of all types of crepe myrtles. It retains its color well and is great at tolerating drought and heat. In addition, the red rocket crape myrtle tree is resistant to mildew, pests and insects, making it a super low-maintenance plant overall. Moreover, it also attracts bees and provides a natural habitat for birds.
– Colorful Blooms
The striking round shape of red rocket crape myrtle makes it an extremely gorgeous plant. It features a unique bark, red and orange fall colors, along with crimson-colored flowers. Plus, this variety blossoms all summer long, earning plenty of attention thanks to the vibrant flower shades.
Red rocket blooms are red with a cherry tint. Unlike dynamite crape myrtles, the stamens on red rocket flowers are tiny and often fully concealed by petals. However, in contrast to dynamite crape myrtles, red rocket flowers are better at retaining their color even if the weather changes.
– Blooming Period
Red rocket crape myrtle typically starts to bloom in early July. If the weather is warm and sunny, the flower may bloom even a bit earlier (late June). The blooming period for this crape myrtle variety lasts for about two months until August’s end or early September. Eventually, the flowers dry up and the tree begins preparing for the upcoming winter season.
– Why You Should Avoid Them
Here are some disadvantages to keep in mind if you’re planning to get yourself a red rocket crape myrtle.
– Fast Growth
Red rocket crape myrtles grow very quickly, due to which you may run into some issues. If you’re looking for slower growth or a more compact crape myrtle variety, the red rocket may not be the one for you.
As mentioned earlier, the red rocket crape myrtle relatively has a faster growth rate than dynamite crape myrtle. The red rocket crape myrtle height can grow by almost 5 feet each year, reaching an approximate height of 30 feet and spread of 15 to 20 feet at maturity.
It’s important to note that this growth rate is possible under ideal conditions. Moreover, in the absence of moisture and cooler months, the red rocket will grow more slowly.
– Prone to Aphids
Even though red rocket is extremely resistant to pests and majority of insects, sometimes aphids may cause problems. Aphids are tiny insects that spread viruses and suck nutrient-rich liquid from crape myrtles and other plants. To manage aphid infestations, the use of some insecticides may be necessary.
What Is Dynamite Crape Myrtle Best For?
The dynamite crape myrtle is best for those who want beautiful flowers and a slow-growing plant. Just like the red rocket, this is also widely popular due to its stunning flowers. Also known as the “lilac of the South,” this crape myrtle variety produces wrinkled cherry-red blooms resembling crepe paper.
Dr. Carl Whitcomb, a popular crape myrtle breeder in the United States, is responsible for introducing eight wonderful varieties of second-generation hybrid crape myrtles, including the two most outstanding Whitcomb varieties: Red Rocket and Dynamite.
With this in mind, dynamite crape myrtles can grow up to 25 feet in height with a spread of 10 to 15 feet. Ideal growing conditions are comprised of full sunlight and well-drained, moist soil.
Here are the leading advantages and shortcomings of growing this crape myrtle variety in your garden.
– Why You Should Grow Them
In this section, we’ll talk about what makes the dynamite crape myrtle one of the best plants to own.
– Beautiful Blooms
Dynamite crape myrtles feature several impressive qualities, most notable being the stunning cherry-red flowers that blossom between the months of April and May. Plus, the round shape of this crape myrtle variety makes it a great option for standalone plants and works equally well as part of an assorted plant border.
Dynamite crape myrtle blooms are red with a hint of a scarlet or fiery hue. Moreover, each flower also has a visible yellow stamen in the center, perfectly complementing the crimson petals. However, the flowers won’t remain bright red in cold or cloudy weather and may even turn light pink in color.
– Low-maintenance and Slow Growth
Similar to red rockets, dynamite crape myrtles also attract bees and are an excellent habitat for birds. Plus, the plant is mildew and drought-resistant, making it a super low-maintenance plant overall.
The dynamite crape myrtle grows by almost 3 feet each year, which means that its growth rate is almost half as slow as that of the red rocket. At a particular age, both of these varieties will have different sizes, and the dynamite crape myrtle tree will be smaller. However, over time, it will still catch up with the red rocket.
– Unique Leaf Color
Another prominent feature of this crape myrtle variety is the plant’s striking leaf colors. The leaves initially appear crimson in color and gradually mature into a dark green color. The leaves, coupled with yellow stamens and approximately 16-inch red flower clusters, make this crape myrtle variety truly remarkable.
– Flower Clusters
The flower clusters of dynamite crape myrtles are roughly 16 inches long. Due to their shorter length, the flower clusters look rounder when compared to red rocket clusters.
– Blooming Period
With the dynamite crape myrtle, the blooming period differs a bit. Though these plants start blooming in early July, the flowering lasts about two weeks longer than red rocket crape myrtles. Dynamite crape myrtles usually keep blooming until the end of September.
– Why You Should Avoid Them
Here are some of the complaints we have received from red rocket crape myrtle owners.
– Smaller Blooms
Unlike red rocket crape myrtles, the flowers of this crape myrtle type are smaller and less impressive. Moreover, the blooms appear light pink instead of bright red during winters. Additionally, the dynamite crape myrtle growth rate is also slower, growing roughly 3 feet per year.
To ensure that this variety lives out its maximum blooming periods, it’s necessary that you don’t let the soil’s top layer dry out more than an inch. Otherwise, the flower clusters will fade earlier for this type of crape myrtle.
– Prone to Aphids
Like the red rocket crape myrtles, this variety is also negatively affected by aphids.
Whichever crape myrtle plant variety you pick, you must provide the plant with sufficient nutrients as optimal blooming requires substantial energy. We recommend providing slow-release fertilizers in early spring and mulching the surface surrounding the tree with compost to maximize fertilization and retain moisture in the root area.
Hopefully, this guide on the Red Rocket vs. Dynamite Crape Myrtle provides you with the knowledge and guidance you need to choose the ideal crape myrtle variety to grow a happy and healthy garden.
Are you still confused about which crape myrtle variety to choose between the two? Red rocket crape myrtles have lusher and more voluminous flower clusters that better retain color under ideal conditions, while dynamite crape myrtles are compact in size and have a slower growth rate.
Unlike red rockets, dynamite crape myrtles have a longer blooming period, but both types of crape myrtles are easy to maintain and provide a great habitat for attracting bees and birds. Happy gardening!
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