The summer of 2013 was a very shady one here in north-central Georgia...and something very strange happened in our nursery and gardens: not only were the 'Dynamite' and other varieties of red flowering crape myrtles on our nursery and in our gardens blooming pink or white, we were getting feedback from customers in our area about how the red crape myrtles in their landscapes were doing the same. 

I'd never seen this happen before so in an attempt to find out what was going on, the first thing I did was explore reputable resources on the Internet in an attempt try to find an answer. What I found was that the flowers of some varieties of red crape myrtle, such as 'Dynamite', 'Red Rocket', 'Ruffled Red Magic' and 'Red Rooster', will open shades of pink or even white when they open during cloudy and cooler-than-normal weather. 

While some folks find this color change interesting and attractive others are upset because they thought they bought red crape myrtles. 

Apparently, full sun is needed in order to bring out the full red flower pigment. Needless to say, this means that it's always best to position crape myrtles in the landscape where they will receive full to mostly sun. 

For those of you who don't like the color change, the good news is that it's only a temporary condition as the plants will start blooming red again when they receive adequate sunlight, sometimes during the same growing season if and when later blooms open on a sunny and warmer day. 

So now you know why red crape myrtles sometimes bloom pink or white, and this might mean you can stop thinking about digging up and replacing them. That said, if your red crape myrtle is in a shady location you might consider relocation to a sunnier site!

Plant Long & Prosper!

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