Sunset Magic is a newly developed red blooming, dark leaved mid sized Crape Myrtle variety from Plant Introductions, Inc. as part of the First Editions Series of new plant introductions. It's mid sized, compact growth habit makes it a great choice for loads of color & contrast in garden & landscape applications where size & space is limited. An excellent alternative choice for purple leaf plums, and other darker foliaged plants. Sunset Magic flowers much more heavily than most dark leaved red crape myrtles, and its foliage holds color right though until very late summer / early fall.
New foliage growth is reddish purple colored, changing to an extremely dark purple.......almost black color with maturity. As with most all of the "Magic Series" of newer Crape Myrtles, Sunset Magic is highly resistant to both Cercospora leaf spot, and powdery mildew - which are the two main threats commonly seen in many Crape Myrtle varieties.
of expired flower heads will oftentimes prolong & increase the
duration of blooms - sometimes well into early October in many 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: 5 - 8 ft ( can be maintained at slightly shorter heights through regular trimming / pruning )
--Mature Width: 4 - 6 ft - occasionally wider if allowed to reach full mature height
--Growth Rate: Moderate to fast ( 14" - 20" 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.
--Soil Preference: Average to slightly moist & fertile - well drained.
--Foliage Color & Texture: Extremely dark purple, nearly black foliage has a reddish purple color when new, with leaves held flat through the entire summer season.
--Flower, Cone, Or Berry Facts: Dark cherry red blooms typically starting in 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: Sunset Magic is actually very resistant to most commonly encountered Crape Myrtle problems, however any of the following are always still a possibility: Tip blight, Botryosphaeria canker, root
rot, aphids, Japanese beetle, Asian ambrosia beetle and Florida wax
scale are all problems that have been reported with Crape Myrtles. 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.