What to Plant Under Crepe Myrtles: 20 Plants to Consider

growing crape myrtles

by Jennifer Poindexter

Do you grow crepe myrtles around your home? Would you like them to look a little more landscaped?

Consider planting gorgeous flowers beneath them to really make these trees pop. If you’re feeling unsure of what grows well beneath crepe myrtles, you’re in the right place.

The main things to consider are root depth and sunlight requirements. Crepe myrtle roots are relatively shallow.

Therefore, you need plants that won’t disturb the roots as they grow beneath it. Plus, you need a plant that can handle light shade beneath the crepe myrtle as well.

Here are the plants that should grow well beneath your crepe myrtle trees.

1. Columbine

Columbine is a unique flower as it appears to have a bloom within a bloom. These gorgeous plants will reach heights between one and three feet.

They’re hardy in planting zones three through eight, thrive in partial shade, and prefer soil that’s evenly damp. The soil should also be well-draining. Provide these growing conditions and columbine should do well growing beneath your crepe myrtle.

2. Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley is a great way to provide subtle beauty to your growing location. This plant consists of long, green foliage with bell-shaped blooms. It’s also a wise choice for growing beneath your crepe myrtle as it’s hardy in planting zones two through nine. 

The plant will only grow to be a half foot to a foot in height. Be sure to plant lily of the valley in well-draining, evenly moist soil. It does well in full sun or full shade, so growing it beneath a tree shouldn’t be a concern.

3. Verbena

You may grow verbena as either an annual or perennial depending upon the variety you choose. They’re typically hardy in planting zones nine through eleven and bloom from spring to fall. This is a great selection, if you’re looking for a pop of color beneath your crepe myrtle tree. 

Verbenas bloom in red, white, pink, purple, and light orange. They only grow to be a foot in height and need well-draining soil. Verbenas typically do better in more sunlight, so only consider this option if you have enough light beneath your crepe myrtle.

4. Hostas

If you have a bare space in your yard or garden, chances are a hosta will grow there. This is why so many gardeners turn to hostas beneath their crepe myrtle trees. They’re gorgeous, low-maintenance, and come back year after year.

Hostas are hardy in planting zones three through nine. They thrive in areas with partial to full shade and need consistently damp soil that drains adequately. These plants will only grow to be between one and two feet tall. Plus, they’re a great option for adding charm to your landscape.

rose of sharon flowers

5. Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon is known for blooming in a variety of colors. This plant will put on a show from summer until fall and bloom in purple, pink, white, and red. This is a perennial plant in zones five through nine and grows well in partial shade. 

Be sure to provide the plant with well-draining soil that’s consistently damp. Rose of Sharon is a great selection for your landscape as it’s low-maintenance and attracts pollinators.

6. Hibiscus

This is one of my favorite flowers because of their bright colors and trumpet-shaped blooms. Hibiscus plants bloom from the middle of summer until fall. Though the plant produces many blooms, each one only lasts for a single day. 

You may grow a hibiscus in partial sunlight, so it should be happy beneath a crepe myrtle. They also need well-draining soil. Otherwise, this is a low-maintenance flower.

7. Daffodil

Daffodils are another low-maintenance, perennial flower. They’re hardy plants in zones three through eight. Be sure to grow daffodils in well-draining soil. 

Plus, you must check the lighting beneath your crepe myrtles as daffodils need sunlight to bloom. If you plant them in a shaded area, the foliage will still grow, but the bright yellow and white blooms will be few.

8. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are gorgeous flowers to add beauty and charm to your home. They come in an array of colors such as yellow, orange, purple, and deep red. These are hardy flowers in planting zones five through nine.

These plants desire well-draining soil and appreciate afternoon shade in warmer planting zones. In these areas, especially, chrysanthemums should grow well beneath your crepe myrtle tree.

9. Coreopsis

Coreopsis is a beautiful plant which produces daisy-like yellow blooms. This is a hardy flower in planting zones four through nine. These flowers are another option that enjoy more shade in warmer planting zones. Therefore, they should do well growing beneath crepe myrtle in certain climates.

These flowers bloom heavily, from summer to fall. The blooms are known for remaining fresh on the plant instead of fading over time. Coreopsis grows well in a variety of soil, including those of low quality, as long as it drains adequately. The plant is drought tolerant and also attracts pollinators.

growing lantana

10. Lantana

Lantana is a gorgeous mounding plant that produces vibrant blooms in clusters. The plant grows well in both full sunlight or partial shade and should bloom all summer long. Lantana produces dark green foliage and blooms in colors such as white, yellow, red, orange, and purple.

This plant will grow in a variety of soil, including low quality. However, it must be well-draining. Lantana is a great choice for growing beneath your crepe myrtle and is also wonderful at attracting pollinators to your growing spaces.

11. Rain Lily

Rain lilies are beautiful star-shaped flowers that produce pink blooms among green foliage. These flowers look their best when planted in groups.

Be sure to plant rain lilies in full to partial sunlight. They need well-draining soil that’s evenly damp. You may grow rain lilies as a perennial in planting zones seven through eleven.

12. Creeping Lilyturf

Creeping lilyturf is a popular option for planting beneath a crepe myrtle tree as they’re known for being beautiful and shallow-rooted. This plant produces dark green foliage and cone-shaped flowers in purple and white.

These flowers can handle warm climates and drought. Plus, they do well in the shade and are considered relatively low maintenance. If you need a ground cover beneath your crepe myrtle, creeping lilyturf could be for you.

13. Dahlia

Dahlias are some of my favorite flowers. They’re perennial and are hardy in planting zones eight through eleven.

You should grow these flowers beneath crepe myrtles that may still provide plenty of sunlight to the plant beneath. As with other flowers, they need well-draining soil. If you’d like colorful, layered blooms growing beneath your crepe myrtle, dahlias would be a nice selection.


There are different varieties of geraniums which impact their height and color. These flowers can range from a half foot in height up to four feet tall. They’re only hardy in planting zones ten and eleven. 

Therefore, they’re mainly grown as annuals. However, they could be a good fit for growing beneath crepe myrtle as they thrive in partial sunlight but must have well-draining soil.

growing impatiens

15. Impatiens

Impatiens are gorgeous smaller flowers that are wonderful for adding subtle charm to a growing space. They’re typically grown as annuals as they’re only hardy in planting zones ten and eleven.

However, if you’d like to grow an annual beneath your crepe myrtle tree, don’t overlook impatiens. They need fertile, well-draining soil. Plus, if you’d like for them to become larger, plant them closer together. On average, they grow to be around a foot tall.

16. Coneflower

Coneflowers are another favorite of mine. They get their name because as the flowers mature, the center protrudes, and the petals drop. Therefore, the bloom takes on a cone shape.

These flowers are a good fit for a taller crepe myrtle as they can become two to four feet tall. They’re hardy in planting zones three through nine, require plenty of sunlight, and need well-draining soil. 

17. Alyssum

Alyssum is a simple plant. It’s bushy and produces small blooms that come in white, pink, red, and purple. You should expect this plant to grow to a height of one foot. 

Alyssum is hardy in planting zones eight and higher but can still be grown as an annual in lower planting zones. If you’d like to grow alyssum, be sure to provide full to partial sunlight and well-draining soil.

18. Salvia

Salvia is another bush-like plant that would make a great fit around the base of a crepe myrtle tree. It’s a hardy plant in zones four through ten and can grow to be two feet tall.

You should provide salvia with plenty of sunlight (though it can handle partial shade) and well-draining soil.

19. Iris

The iris is another personal favorite of mine. Depending upon the variety you choose, will depend upon the height of your plant. They range in height from a half foot to four feet tall.

These are hardy flowers in planting zones three through ten. However, they must be provided with adequate light (for best blooming) and adequately draining soil.

growing snapdragons

20. Snapdragon

The final flower that’s a great companion to crepe myrtle is the snapdragon. These plants come in many colors and heights. They can be anywhere from a half foot to three feet tall, and they’re hardy in zones seven through eleven. 

Ensure snapdragons are grown in well-draining soil that’s evenly damp. They also do best in spring and early summer as they prefer cooler temperatures. The more sunlight snapdragons are provided, the better they bloom. Keep these tips in mind should you choose to plant this flower beneath your crepe myrtle.

You now have twenty options of flowers you may plant beneath a crepe myrtle. The height of your tree and the amount of sunlight beneath it may be a determining factor as to which plants are the best option.

Also, be sure to check the planting zone restrictions if you want a perennial to grow beneath the tree. However, if you’re okay with planting something different each year, pick what you like and see what provides the perfect look beneath your crepe myrtle.

More About Crepe Myrtles



hibiscus and crepe myrtles with text overlay twenty plants to grow under crepe myrtles

The post What to Plant Under Crepe Myrtles: 20 Plants to Consider appeared first on Gardening Channel.



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