Crape Myrtles are terrific plants for long-term blooming throughout summer and into fall. But in spring they are just green – attractive enough, but certainly not eye-catching. Something more magical is needed, and for that we have the Coral Magic Crape Myrtle. This fabulous new variety features spring foliage that is a handsome red color, brightening your garden long before blooms appear. That powerful color makes the perfect backdrop to your spring shrubs, or a colorful specimen in its own right.
Later the leaves will turn a rich dark green, but by then the blooms will have taken over – and what blooms they are! Large trusses of bright, coral-pink flowers cover the plant for months, beginning in mid-June, and only reluctantly ending when the first frost arrives. Even in winter it has charm, with its curious seed pods, and attractive, peeling bark in mixed shades of gray and brown. This plant certainly packs a lot of brilliance into a small space.
Growing Coral Magic Crape Myrtles
The Coral Magic Crape Myrtle grows rapidly into a compact, rounded form between 6 and 10 feet tall and around, depending on location, and even more on how much it is trimmed. The richly-colored foliage remains clean and healthy all season, because unlike older varieties it has been bred to have excellent resistance to powdery mildew and other leaf diseases. The elliptical leaves are almost 2 inches long, and an inch wide. They emerge in spring bright red, and slowly turn deep green, remaining glossy and rich.
The coral-pink flowers are carried in big clusters, 4 inches long and 3 inches across, at the end of every new branch. Each flower lasts a day, before dropping away cleanly, but the clusters continue to flower for about 2 weeks. Almost as soon as a cluster finishes, new ones form just below it, keeping your bush in bloom from early June to at least the end of September.
Uses in Your Garden
This beautiful shrub is just the right size for a specimen in a smaller garden; as an informal screen or hedge to give privacy, planted along a driveway for an elegant and colorful entrance; behind other shrubs as a backdrop; or even in large containers around your terrace, pool or patio. With its ease of growth, hardiness in zones 7, 8 and 9, and its months and months of color, the Coral Magic Crape Myrtle is hard to beat – and why even try to?
Plant the Coral Magic Crape Myrtle in full sun for maximum flowering, strong leaf color and dense, bushy growth. This plant is very easy to grow, thriving in any well-drained soil, including sands, gravels and heavy clays. It is resistant to urban pollution, making it ideal for a town garden, and also to salt-drift, so it does well near the sea too. Its rapid growth means you will soon have a wonderful plant filling that hot, dry, difficult spot in your garden. Once established crape myrtles are very drought-resistant, so your plant will continue to grow and bloom even during long hot and dry periods.
Care and Maintenance
You can encourage continuous bloom by removing spent flower clusters as the last flower falls. Cut back just to the first leaf – new shoots will soon emerge and bloom. Stop doing this in early fall, so that you also get a crop of those handsome seed pods. You can trim the Coral Magic Crape Myrtle in late winter or early spring, before or at the same time as new growth emerges. To keep a smaller, more compact form, trim hard, cutting the previous-years growth back to just a couple of inches. For a larger bush, just remove the top section of the branches, and any broken or weak growth. Do not trim new shoots, as this will delay or prevent flowering, which happens on the ends of new branches.
History and Origins of the Coral Magic Crape Myrtle
The Coral Magic Crape Myrtle was created in a breeding program carried out by the well-known plant breeder and tree expert Michael Dirr. With his company Plant Introductions Inc. (today part of Bailey Nurseries), he carefully selected seedlings grown from seed of an earlier variety called Berry Dazzle (‘Gamad VI’). The brilliant flower color, combined with the rich red foliage, made this plant unique, and it was named ‘Coral Magic’ and patented in 2013. It was released as part of Bailey Nurseries’ First Editions® plant line.
Skilled growers take stem pieces of these plants, with licensed permission of the patent holder, and grow them into the sturdy bushes we will ship to you. These plants cannot be compared to common crape myrtles, and you will love the vibrant foliage and dynamite flower coloring. Months of coral-pink flowers are just waiting to burst out, and this vigorous plant is always healthy. At the Tree Center we specialize in the best crape myrtles, and our limited stock will not last long. So order now while we can satisfy your order – you won’t regret it.