Coral Magic Crape Myrtle: Care + Growing Guide

Crape myrtle bushes dot homes and gardens across the globe. They have the perfect height to make beautiful and practical hedges, screens, pot plants, and general garden trees. You’ll find different varieties of its 50 species in the US. One of them is Coral Magic Crape Myrtle. Coral magic crape myrtle differs from most crape myrtle varieties in size, hardiness, and resistance to pests.

Coral magic crape myrtle is a class of plants within the Lythraceae family. Like other trees and shrubs within this family, coral magic produces showy blooms with coral-pink flowers. The tree upright, reaching 10 feet tall and spreading 8 feet wide with brilliant green foliage.

Cut off a few flowers in summer and prune the tree in winter to keep it blooming. 

Lagerstroemia ‘Coral Magic’ (Crape Myrtle) Profile

NamesCoral magic crape myrtle; Lagerstroemia ‘Coral Magic’
Size8’-10’ tall, 6’-8’ spread
Soil typePrefers well-draining soil, but tolerates clay soil types
Soil pHWithstands a wide pH range, including acidic, alkaline, and neutral soil.
WaterModerate water requirements
Sun exposurePrefers full sunlight exposureCan withstand partial shade
USDA ZonesZones 7-9
Bloom timeEarly-late summer/early fall
Flower colorSalmon pink
When to pruneLate winter-early spring, or anytime there are dead branches
Root system (type)Shallow, fibrous roots

Origin and names

Coral magic crape myrtle

Coral magic crape myrtle, also known as Lagerstroemia ‘Coral Magic’, is a member of the crape myrtle family of trees and shrubs. The name originates from its vivid visually-alluring coral-pink blooms.

This deciduous shrub is native to China and Southeast Asia and was later distributed to Europe and the Americas. However, many cold-tolerant and disease-resistant hybrid cultivars have been developed over the years.

As such, coral magic crape myrtle can now be grown in diverse habitats.

Size

Coral magic crape myrtle grows 8-10 feet high with a canopy between 6-8 feet wide at full maturity. Due to their relatively compact size compared to other varieties of crape myrtle, coral magic crape myrtles can be spaced as close as 72-96 inches apart.

The compact size makes this crape myrtle variety a perfect rounded shrub for small gardens.

Blooms and foliage

Coral magic crape myrtle (1)

Coral magic crape myrtle develops several clusters of colorful pink flowers from early summer. You can also trigger a second bloom cycle in late summer by deadheading the spent flowers that sprouted during the first bloom. The second cycle of flowers can last well into early autumn (September).

The flowers only sprout from new spring season growth. The young leaves from which the blooms emerge are characteristically red-tinted but gradually turn olive green as the season progresses into the summer.

Note: This crape myrtle variety blooms prolifically during the first bloom cycle, but the number of flowers will be noticeably fewer during the second bloom. Depending on environmental conditions, there may also be no second bloom cycle for your crape myrtle.

Growth rate 

As it grows as a shrub rather than a tree, coral magic crape myrtle grows relatively slower than most other crape myrtle varieties. The average growth rate for this genus of crape myrtle is 0.5’-1 inch per year.

If you’re looking to grow a high landscape hedge for privacy quickly, this might not be the best variety for you.

How to grow and care for the coral magic crape myrtle

Here’s a guide to thecare  requirements of the coral magic crape myrtle plant:

Spacing when planting

Crape myrtle is a compact plant. You can plant crape myrtle trees between 72 and 96 inches apart. Avoid planting them closer than 70 inches apart. Close proximity will cause competition for resources, leading to stunted growth and increased vulnerability to pests and diseases.

Light

Lagerstroemia coral magic prefers growing in full, uninterrupted sunlight. It has good heat tolerance and won’t suffer heat stress from continuous sun exposure.

This variety also withstands partly-shaded growing conditions. It will, however, show signs of stress when grown in heavily shaded areas. Ensure your Lagerstroemia trees get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Soil type and pH

Coral magic crape myrtle thrives in various soil textures, including loam, clay, sandy, and shallow rocky soil. However, grow it in moist, well-draining soil for the best results. While it can  withstand a wide pH range from acidic-alkaline, the optimum pH would be 5.5-6.5.

Water

Coral magic crape myrtle has decent drought tolerance and only needs regular watering while still young and establishing.

Once established, you can reduce the watering frequency to once per week. 

Adding 2-3 inches deep organic mulch helps Lagerstroemia ‘Coral Magic’ retain moisture.  

USDA hardiness zones

Coral magic crape myrtle thrives in USDA hardiness zones 7-9. This includes the region from Maryland going south to Florida and Texas.

Fertilization

Coral magic crape myrtle doesn’t need too much fertilizer. However, you should apply a slow-release organic fertilizer rich in sulfur and iron. A new coral magic crape myrtle only needs one teaspoon of slow-release organic fertilizer once a month in its first year. Stop fertilizing the plant two weeks before frost to avoid branch damage. 

Fertilize coral magic crape myrtle once a year in spring after root formation. Use granular fertilizer, then water the area. Apply no more than 0.5lbs per 100 square feet. Excess fertilizer will promote aggressive foliage over flowering and expose the plant to diseases.

Pruning

To promote summer blooming, prune Lagerstroemia ‘Coral Magic’ in late winter-early spring. This is because blooms only appear on new wood. You should prune Coral Magic crape myrtle whenever you spot dead branches.

Avoid heavily pruning crape myrtle in the fall before the first frost. Pruning triggers the growth of new shoots, preventing the plant from going dormant as the cool season progresses. As a result, the Lagerstroemia ‘coral magic’ is more likely to be killed by chilly winter temperatures.

References

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