The Jupiter tree, also called crepe, mousse or lilac of the Indies, whose scientific name is Lagerstroemia indica , is an original tree from China and Japan, although it can currently be found in the wild throughout the Asian continent and Europe, as well as cultivated all over the world. It is a species belonging to the Lythraceae family , which is used as an ornamental tree thanks to its small size and the pink color of its abundant flowers, although there are other colors and shades this is the most popular. It is a tree that generally grows with a multi-stem. That is, its trunk grows from two or more branches that start almost from the same ground.
It is a tree that is easy to care for, although a series of factors should be taken into account to ensure that it looks strong and has a very leafy crown, which is one of its main attractions. If you want to know the care of the Jupiter tree, keep reading and we will discover it for you.
Jupiter or Lagerstroemia indica tree care
This is a very simple guide on the main care of the Jupiter tree or Lagerstroemia indica :
Location, light and irrigation
The Jupiter tree or lilac of the Indies is a deciduous tree that, even in winter, has great aesthetic value, due in part to its characteristic pinkish-brown bark. This tree requires sunny places. It needs fertile but very well drained soils, since its irrigation must be moderate. In fact, it is a tree that should not be watered until the soil is completely dry. This means that a weekly watering in winter and two in summer will suffice.
Plagues and diseases
Due precisely to the fact that it is a tree that does not tolerate excess humidity well, it has a tendency to present fungal problems, especially powdery mildew . This pest usually appears when the tree is in very humid and poorly drained soils and when it does not have enough direct sunlight. When this happens, it is important to apply a fungicide as soon as possible, since the tree can be very affected by this disease if it is not treated in time, even being able to die.
Pruning, flowering and compost
It is necessary to carry out a pruning at the end of winter that allows you to get rid of the branches with flowers from last year. This will allow that, with the arrival of spring, the new flowering is stronger and the tree grows with more strength and vigor. You can enjoy its pink, white, mauve, purple or crimson flowers with curly petals. Likewise, it is important to pay it every so often, preferably in early spring. The most recommended is an ecological fertilizer that penetrates well into the substrate.
Potted Jupiter Tree
Although the most common when planting a Jupiter or crepe tree is to do it directly in the ground , there is also the possibility of doing it in a pot. However, when we do this, it is important to take into account special care with the tree, since the pots can hinder its growth by limiting the available space and favoring a greater presence of humidity in the substrate.
One of the aspects that we should take into account if we choose to plant the Jupiter tree in a pot is that it will be preferable to do it in an unpainted terracotta pot . This allows moisture to not only go through the surface and the drain below, but also facilitates its evaporation through the mud in the pot, helping to prevent the growth of fungus. On the other hand, it is also very important to make sure that no excess water remains in the pot plate after watering, as it can be a source of fungal pests as well as favoring the roots to rot.
When planting a potted Jupiter tree, we must also take into account that it will need at least eight hours of direct sunlight a day, especially if it is winter, when ultraviolet radiation is lower. Therefore, it is very important that we place the pot in a very sunny place, either outside or near a window where it has access to direct light.
Jupiter bonsai tree care
In addition to being able to plant the Jupiter tree in a pot, there is also the possibility of using cuttings from the tree itself to grow a bonsai of this characteristic tree.
Planting a Lagerstroemia indica bonsai tree
To do this, it is best to take a woody and rooted cutting . Although the Jupiter tree can be grown by putting it in water to take root and then transplanting it, this option is a complicated task, and the cutting will most likely end up dying. Instead, what we will have to do is take a stem with roots that we can use as a bonsai start and plant it directly in a pot with a special substrate for bonsai .
How to care for a bonsai Jupiter tree
One of the aspects that must be taken into account when caring for a Jupiter tree in bonsai is that the bonsai pot must be a little larger than usual. In the case of this tree, very flat pots with a tray appearance (typical of many bonsai) are not recommended, since its roots need a greater space to be able to develop the minimum that this tree needs to be well and use pots with too little background will negatively affect you.
As with the care of the Jupiter tree in soil or in a pot , the Lagerstroemia indica bonsai tree will need abundant sunlight and irrigation that allows the substrate not to puddle, as it could cause a fungal infestation. One of the advantages of this bonsai is that, as it has a woody trunk, the new branches grow in a very aesthetic way when done horizontally to the ground. In this way, the appearance of a small tree is achieved where the initial cutting is the trunk of the tree and the new stems are the ramifications.