Midnight Magic Crape Myrtle: Care + Profile

If you’re a gardening enthusiast that’s always looking for new cultivars with unique flower and foliage color combinations, then Midnight Magic might be for you. Most southerners favor this little darling for its short stature and ability to make an excellent shrub near the home. 

Midnight Magic crape myrtle works well as a compact shrub for hedges and tight spaces. Its most standout features are its ever-pink flowers that complement the purple foliage. It’s grown for its superior disease resistance compared to traditional crepe myrtle varieties. Trim off its aging flowers every growing season to maintain its pink brilliance. 

Lagerstroemia ‘Midnight Magic’ Crape Myrtle Profile

NamesLagerstroemia ‘Midnight Magic’Midnight Magic crape myrtle
SizeDwarf variety (4-6 feet tall)
Soil typeModerately moist, well-draining soil (loam soil)
Soil pHMildly acidic-almost neutral (6.0-6.5)
WaterAverage water needs
Sun exposurePrefers full sunlight exposure (up to 6 hours daily); withstands partial shade
USDA ZonesZone 7, zone 8, and zone 9
Bloom timeSummer, second bloom lasts until early fall
Flower colorDark pink
When to pruneLate winter-early spring
Root system (type)Shallow and fibrous root system

Origin and names

Lagerstroemia Midnight Magic is part of a new series of crape myrtle cultivars that also includes other ‘magic series’ cultivars such as coral magic and moonlight magic crape myrtles. The ‘Midnight’ name is derived from the fact that its flowers are a dark shade of pink, while ‘Magic’ is the common name given to all cultivars within this series.

Meanwhile, Lagerstroemia(.spp) is the scientific name for all plants in the crape myrtle family.

Size

Lagerstroemia Midnight Magic is a dwarf crape myrtle variety that only grows 4-6 feet tall at full maturity. The spread at full maturity is also within the 4-6 feet range. 

As such, it’s grown as a rounded shrub, not as a tree.

Blooms and foliage

Midnight Magic crape myrtle produces numerous dark pink blooms from summer to early fall. It also boasts purple-maroon leaves that provide a great backdrop for the vivid pink flowers. The foliage retains color, even in hot summers in the south, the foliage retains color into late fall before the crape myrtle goes dormant.

The blooming rate also varies, depending on your region. Midnight Magic crape myrtles grown in the south showcase more prolific blooming compared to similar varieties growing in the Pacific North West.

Note: You can deadhead the spent blossoms from the first bloom if you want a late summer rebloom. However, the second bloom cycle is not as vigorous as the first. There will be fewer blossoms.

Growth rate

Lagerstroemia Midnight Magic has a moderate growth rate. Even though it’s a dwarf variety, it grows at about the same rate as other types of crape myrtle.

How to grow and care for Midnight Magic crape myrtle

Spacing when planting

Since Midnight Magic crape myrtle is commonly grown as a rounded hedge shrub, you can plant them as close as 4-5 feet apart to form a dense hedge. 

The compact size also allows you to plant this crape myrtle cultivar in limited spaces that would otherwise not accommodate larger crape myrtle varieties.

Light

Lagerstroemia Midnight Magic prefers to grow in uninterrupted sunlight. It can still tolerate mild shade conditions, but not heavy shade. Ideally, you should expose it to at least six hours of full sunlight per day.

Soil type and pH

This crape myrtle variety thrives in well-draining soil with medium moisture. It can grow in various soil types, including loamy, sandy, chalky, and clay. However, these soils would have to be slightly acidic with a pH range between 6.0 and 6.5. 

Still, it can withstand soil pH conditions ranging from acidic to alkaline.

Water

Midnight Magic crape myrtle has average water needs once it’s fully mature and will only require occasional watering during periods of prolonged drought once it reaches this stage. However, young Midnight Magic crape myrtles have higher water needs and should be watered regularly until fully established.

Mulching with about three inches of organic matter helps Midnight Magic crape myrtle retain water, especially during unusually hot weather.

USDA hardiness zones

Midnight Magic crape myrtle grows best in USDA hardiness zones 7-9.

  • Zone 7 covers the region between Maryland-Idaho heading westward towards Utah and parts of Texas.
  • Zone 8 covers large parts of the Carolinas, as well as sections of Texas, Arizona, and other southern states.
  • Zone 9 includes large parts of the southern states from the southeast to the southwest (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, etc.)

Pruning

To boost summer blooming, Lagerstroemia Midnight Magic is best pruned from late winter to early spring. New growth occurs when branches are pruned, and summer blooms only sprout on new spring growth. You can also prune off dead branches to improve plant health at any time of the year.

References

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