Moonlight Magic Crape Myrtle is one of the First Editions Series collection of new Crape Myrtle introductions that were originally bred & developed by Plant Introductions, Inc. It is a sister seedling of Midnight Magic, and has very similar characteristics, with the distinguishing feature being the bright snow white flowers it produces......versus the dark pink blooms of its Midnight Magic counterpart. Moonlight Magic has a somewhat upright growth habit for such a small mature sized Crape, and has excellent compact branching habit as well. Actually gives the appearance of a small tree form Crape Myrtle.....rather than the shrub-like form commonly seen in varieties in this same mature size range. Foliage is super dark maroon / purple color, and retains it's color very well.....even under the heat & humidity of most southern climates.
Typically blooms starting in mid July once established, and persist well into mid to late September. Removal
of expired flower heads will oftentimes prolong & increase the
duration of blooms - sometimes well into early October in many warmer areas of
the country. Yearly pruning should be performed - typically in either
early fall, or in very late winter ( just before bud break in the spring
). We recommend pruning branches back to the point where they are the
diameter of approximately 1/2" - 3/4" on more established specimens
.......Certainly no larger in diameter than 3/4". Pruning will be much
less in very young specimens for the first 2 - 3 seasons. Yearly pruning
will spur additional branching habit the following season which, in
turn, will spur on a maximum amount of blooms year after year since
blooms are always produced at the ends of the current years' new growth.
This is one of the main reason we suggest removal of old expired blooms
to help prolong production of new blooms.
Plant Facts & Specifications
--Mature Height: 8 - 10 ft ( can be maintained at shorter heights through regular trimming / pruning )
--Mature Width: 4 - 5 ft - occasionally wider if allowed to reach full mature height
--Growth Rate: Moderate to fast ( 14" - 18" avg per yr )
--Hardiness Zones: 7 - 10 - As with all Crape Myrtles, will suffer branch dieback at temps below 15 degrees.
--Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade - blooms best in full sun. Foliage color also best in full sun.
--Soil Preference: Average to slightly moist & fertile - well drained.
--Foliage Color & Texture: Excellent dark, dark purple leaf color - persisting all throughout the growing season in most all climates & locations. Newest growth slightly more reddish purple, but still very dark.
--Flower, Cone, Or Berry Facts: Nice snow white blooms typically starting in mid July, and lasting well into
the latter part of September. Blooms leave behind a 1/4"- 1/2" diameter
seed capsule which will oftentimes persist all the way through winter.
Each seed capsule consists of 6 individual "compartments" - each
contains many long, winged seeds.
--Diseases / Insects: Moonlight Magic is actually very resistant to most commonly Crape Myrtle problems, however any of the following are always still a possibility: Powdery mildew, black spot, sooty mold, tip blight, leaf spot
(Cercospora spp. are the causal agents), Botryosphaeria canker, root
rot, aphids, Japanese beetle, Asian ambrosia beetle and Florida wax
scale are all problems that have been reported with Crape Myrtles. The
most common problems encountered are powdery mildew, black spot, and
aphids. Regular inspections, and treatments ( when necessary ), should
be performed periodically throughout the growing season, so as to not
allow any serious problems to take hold.
--Fertilization / Feeding: For maximum health & hardiness, we highly recommend a good grade granular ( preferably organic ) fertilizer / plant food for use with all of our plant species. We personally use, and recommend the Espoma line of organic plant foods, as they are super effective yet gentle enough to use on even the most delicate of evergreen species where fertilizer burn would normally be a major concern. However, a water soluble type plant food (Miracle Gro, or equivalent ) are also acceptable options. Other granular fertilizers with a 6 - 12 - 12, or 10 - 10 - 10 ratio can also be used - but we suggest using them at 1/2 - 3/4 strength to avoid any chemical burn issues to the root system of the plants. Best to fertilize in early spring, and again in mid fall - avoid feeding standard chemical fertilizers during hot summer months, and directly after transplanting. The Espoma Organic Plant Foods may be used at anytime.