TREE: Crape Myrtle
AGE: 9 YRS APPROX
HEIGHT: 14 inches
LOCATION: Near a window or outdoors
Miniature hybrid with showy flowers ranging from light pink to purple and red and blooming on the new year's growth. Outstanding exfoliating bark, mottled pale grey to brown to pink in color. Widely used as a landscape tree in the southern part of the USA. Deciduous, keep indoors. Likes sunny locations to generate blooms. Fall foliage color is red-orange. The crepe myrtle shrub makes an excellent bonsai subject. The flowers and new leaves are quite small. The tree has interesting bark and supple branches which are easy to train into whatever bonsai style you wish to.
The tree is tough enough to live in the shallow soil in a bonsai tray without going into a decline. Even if you occasionally forget to water it, it will survive. Crepe myrtle bushes are hard to kill.
You are not limited to the dwarf or miniature crepe myrtles in making a bonsai tree. Any of the crepe myrtle varieties can be pressed into service so choose based on the flower color and type of bark you like.