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summerstar_gw

Razzle Dazzle Variety of Dwarf Crape Myrtle NOT Blooming!?

summerstar
April 11, 2012

I decided to plant two dwarf crape myrtles in a couple of weeks in a new perennial border. I wanted to find out more about the Razzle Dazzle variety, so I ran an internet search. That's where I found posts from some gardeners who said their plants never bloomed. That's risky business. Shoot, I'll search for another shrub if ALL dwarf crape myrtles tend NOT to bloom! The last posting about this that I found was on this website in April of 2011.

Have any of you had this problem with Razzle Dazzle crapes?

To you long-time gardeners, the Razzle Dazzle variety was hybridized by the renowned horticulturist Michael Dirr at the University of GA which makes their poor performance almost unbelievable.

Comments (19)

  • mrgpag SW OH Z5/6

    My Ruby Dazzle has never bloomed but I like it anyway for the foliage. Another one that didn't bloom was the white blooming selection - forget what it was called. The pink and red ones bloom year after year.

    Marshall

  • GdnConf

    This is Andy, I work for a grower of the Razzle Dazzle dwarf crapemyrtles. I wanted to offer some info that you might find helpful with these.

    Dr. Dirr did develop these and the breeding work has been pretty extensive. Several improvements have been made and with those, a couple of the original releases that do not bloom as well have been dropped. Snow Dazzle and Raspberry Dazzle have both been dropped in favor of much better performers. I would suggest if you are looking for a good white - Diamond Dazzle will be very reliable for you. And for a strong pink, I would plant either Strawberry Dazzle or Sweetheart Dazzle - both of which are reliable bloomers year after year and bloom earlier than some of the older selections.

    My top picks: Berry Dazzle (more upright, earliest to bloom), Diamond Dazzle (strong white), Cherry Dazzle (the original selection and strong bloomer though blooms later in the summer than many of the others), and Strawberry Dazzle.

    As for Ruby Dazzle - it was selected not for its flower, but for its foliage. It is a great alternative to Barberry adding strong burgandy foliage without thorns to any garden. It will sport a pink flower every now and then, but that was not the appeal, rather its almost pancake habit and strong dark foliage.

    Hope that helps a little.

    Happy Gardening

    Andy

  • gumneck 7A Virginia

    I have a couple of Cherry Dazzle and both bloom decently. I've had them for a couple of years at least since photos show blooms in 2010 and 2011. They are definitely dwarf.
    {{gwi:250574}}

    {{gwi:250575}}

  • summerstar

    Hey Gumneck: Thanks for posting the very nice photos. I notice you're in the same zone I'm in. I noticed the post from the fellow who works for the dwarf crape myrtle grower and will look for his suggestions at my local nursery.

    I grow the 8-10 foot watermelon red Tonto crape myrtle that is very showy. For the first time last summer, it seemed to have less flowers than the year before. I was advised to thin them and cut off the old flowers when April comes around. I did and we'll see what happens.

    I know that crape myrtles grow in thicker from pruning in late April. It will make your Cherry Dazzle fuller. Happy Gardening

  • flowergirl70ks

    I have the Tonto red one. It has definitely not liked our fluctuating weather this spring? Yellow leaves now and it was not this way last year. Looks very sick, and I don't know what to do for it. It's possible I have it in too much shade. The other one I have is purple and I have it in a much sunnier place.

  • summerstar

    Flowergirl,

    How long have you have your Tonto shrub? How much shade does it get? I have three of the Tonto variety and they're a very strong variety, recommended, and well thought of in the nursery trade. Most crape myrtles don't do well in shade. If it's still fairly small, move it into a sunny location. It will be worth your efforts.

    And . . . I LOVE purple crapes. But what's the name of your purple?? I'm looking for a deep purple. Thanks for posting back.

  • msrose

    Andy - If you're still around, I'm curious about something. Your top picks are not all on your good bloomer list, so what is it that makes it your top pick? Is it the color of the blooms? The shape of the shrub? I'm really happy to find your post. I've heard the complaints about them not being good bloomers, so I will definitely try one of the ones from your list.

  • gumneck 7A Virginia

    Here's an updated photo of Cherry Dazzle. I pruned and thinned as suggested around April. It's gotten a little bigger. I probably could have pruned a little more to give it a more balanced look in the center.

  • Harleytiger

    Andy, If you're still out there, do you have anywhere in mind where I can purchase a Dwarf Razzle Dazzle in California? My local area nursery's do not carry the plant. I live in the central coast area.

  • julianchandler

    I have had about a dozen Dazzle Me Pink Crapemyrtles in my Oklahoma garden for the past 4 or 5 years. They are not in an ideal location (only about 2 hours of sun daily), but even so, they have bloomed well for me. One thing I have learned about these particular dwarf crapes is that they do not perform well unless I give them LOTS of water and fertilizer throughout the growing season (unlike my 20 or so standard crapes, which get fertilized twice a year and watered only when it is really hot and dry). I use both timed-release and (weekly) liquid fertilizer applied with the hose, and the more I give them, the better they bloom. I am a long-time gardener, and I have never grown anything that requires as much fertilizer as these dwarf crapes. That said, I just love them and they are definitely worth the extra time and effort. One caution: These crapes did take a couple of years to get established and start blooming. But that might have changed if I had known from the beginning what heavy feeders they are.

    Dazzle Me Pink has stayed very small (not over about 14 inches tall), probably because of not getting enough sun. But that's what I wanted anyway, so I'm happy. They are nice, compact shrubs and have absolutely no fungus problems. Can't say enough good things about them!

  • msrose

    Just wanted to update this post. I bought 3 Razzle Dazzle last year. Berry bloomed last year shortly after I planted it and Cherry has just started blooming for the 1st time. I think the 3rd was Raspberry and it's not blooming and hasn't grown. I had another one for 2 or 3 years that never did anything. I can't remember for sure, but I think it was Ruby. Anyone else having luck with them?

  • treeana

    I planted (4) Razzle Dazzle in 2007 and only one produced small raspberry blooms in 2009, but nothing from any of them since. It is still alive and the leaves and stems are healthy. I am disappointed, but hopeful.

  • stansnet

    I live in Alabama, and generally any Crape Myrtle does well here, the more sun the better, but need water when it gets dry. That said, there may be merit in what julianchandler says above for these Razzle Dazzle. Another new Dwarf worth considering are the Black Diamond. we have 2 we purchased last year and have them in full sun and try to keep well watered.

    But I would like to also comment on the pruning recommendations above. Around here we call any heavy pruning: Crape Murder. Most crapes prefer NO pruning, except suckers and crossed branches, etc. They really LOVE to develop their natural shape in a sunny location.

  • flowergirl70ks

    In Winfield, Ks where my daughter lives they practice crape murder every spring, and the darn things grow like weeds. Earlier in this post I commented on a purple I had, never did find the name for whoever wanted it. My Tonto struggles on, could be this darn gyp hill I live on.

  • mursworlds

    I have a five year old raspberry razzle dazzle in full sun and it has never bloomed. I wish I had had checked on this about four years ago rather than having wastin energy in this poor performer.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    These need considerable summer heat to bloom well. If you live in a cool summer climate, like anywhere in the PNW, crape myrtles are extremely reluctant to bloom regardless of variety.

  • mursworlds

    I live in Atlanta,GA. The crape myrtles grow like weeds here. Another thought: why are these dwarves in full exquisite bloom when you buy them. How were they able to bloom for the store never to bloom again once you pay for them?

  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A

    They've bloomed for me in Virginia. But they bloom later than other crapes AND need full sun.

  • Ellen Stone

    I live in Norfolk, VA and ive noticed the same with mine...full sun all the time. They still are really pretty until they bloom, I think.

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