Crape Myrtle, Crepe Myrtle 'Red Rocket'

Lagerstroemia indica

Family: Lythraceae (ly-THRAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lagerstroemia (la-ger-STREEM-ee-a) (Info)
Species: indica (IN-dih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Rocket
Additional cultivar information:(PP11342; aka Red Rocket, Whit IV)
Hybridized by Whitcomb
Registered or introduced: 2000
» View all varieties of Crepe Myrtles


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Clovis, California

Fontana, California

Mountain View Acres, California

Rosedale, California

Wildomar, California

Lewes, Delaware

Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)

Kissimmee, Florida

Land O Lakes, Florida

Nokomis, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Orange Park, Florida

Quincy, Florida

Chickamauga, Georgia

Fayetteville, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Rincon, Georgia

Murphysboro, Illinois

Franklin, Kentucky

Oakdale, Louisiana

Bel Air, Maryland

Upper Marlboro, Maryland (2 reports)

Mesick, Michigan

Lumberton, Mississippi

Pitman, New Jersey

Raleigh, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Chalfont, Pennsylvania

Mc Keesport, Pennsylvania

Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Prosperity, South Carolina

Townville, South Carolina

Arlington, Tennessee

Gates, Tennessee

Lenoir City, Tennessee

Carrollton, Texas

College Station, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

Cypress, Texas

Fredericksburg, Texas

Garland, Texas

Houston, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Shepherd, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Willis, Texas

Manassas, Virginia

Oilville, Virginia

Springfield, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 21, 2014, aHuisache from Glendale, AZ wrote:

Mine is growing nicely in a pot on my patio. I'm in Phoenix, AZ where it's about 95 degrees now and the plant is thriving and blooming very well following Spring pruning, though I'm told once real summer arrives (108-118 degrees), these don't do quite as well. In any case, the nursery who sold this Red Rocket (RR) to me said it is a dwarf variety of RR that reaches 3-4 feet tall at maturity. I've never heard of a dwarf RR Crape Myrtle. Is this possible or is he mistaken?


On Feb 5, 2014, Osmantha from Marietta, GA wrote:

I planted 3 of these in my yard 10-15 years ago. They are all 20' tall now, and probably not more than 6' in diameter at the top. As mature trees, they have a strong, fairly narrow vase shape, with no weeping or arching branches that they had when younger, so they are well suited to small spaces. I have never trimmed mine, except to shape them nicely until they reached about 7-8', or to remove the occasional suckers, which haven't been many. At first, they seemed bushy, and I removed a lot of branches but after 6-8', I just let them go. They have required minimal maintenance since then. The red flowers are truly spectacular in color, but they don't bloom much unless I fertilize. They do not mildew much compared to other crepe myrtles I have, unless it rains a great deal.


On Aug 18, 2010, DisHammerhand from Fontana, CA wrote:

The red of this one has just a hint of purple making it ruby red. A beautiful cultivar. I snapped one up at the home improvement store today.Very happy with my find! 2010

2015 update: The two I planted have not grown especially fast but they are very tolerant of drought and neglect. I don't prune them at all and they are beginning to take on pleasing shapes. They are now 6 and 7 feet tall. Overall I am still happy with them.


On Nov 7, 2008, stormyla from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have 2 of these that were planted as 18" twigs 3 years ago. They are now over 6' tall and bloom profusely in my zone 6b location. The bronze fall foliage and berries are lovely.


On Aug 6, 2006, Sheila965 from Rincon, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This was an amazing addition to my yard. It's beautiful red color just pops! I've found that if you continually pick the seeds off when they turn green (you can't miss them), it will just bloom and bloom and bloom.


On Jul 16, 2005, aasalas from Lewes, DE (Zone 7b) wrote:

Red Rocket has the best new leaf color of any that I've grown--always bronzy red, even well into July here near the Delaware shore. The flowers are a strong, deep rosy red and, in my experience, the flower heads seem heavier than some crepe myrtles, in relation to branches, and so tend to bow over more. Otherwise, one of my favorites.


On Nov 1, 2004, Larabee from Houston, TX wrote:

Instead of just propagating by seeds, try rooting the suckers that you prune off. They root extremely easily in soil with a little rooting hormone.


On Jul 17, 2004, aviator8188 from Murphysboro, IL (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have a different variety of this species and I just love it! Although, yes trimming them back makes the Crapes look great because they bloom best on new wood, but it is actually semi-harmful to Lagerstroemia indica, or any Crape. Trimming them back to their trunks severely stresses the plant out! Crape Myrtles actually live shorter lives when trimmed to their trunks. It is best to let them go, buy just pulling the suckers and trimming off the cross branches, to keep the bonsai look. A great addition to any home or business in zones 7-10!


On Nov 19, 2003, mrsmitty from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant wants to grow suckers from it's base. I keep the suckers pruned off so it resembles a tree. After it blooms in summer and in early fall before it can develop seeds prune it back severely.. to a cane with a fork or two. Sometimes this can coax an additional bloom, but it certainly makes the plant attractive when it bursts back with fresh foliage in a few weeks. Never prune after fall in extreme northern areas if you have an early frost... let it go dormant.