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The Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Pilag-VII') is a stunning deciduous shrub that stands out due to its unique appearance and excellent ornamental qualities. Native to China and Korea, this cultivar of Crapemyrtle is a popular choice for landscapes and gardens across the United States, particularly in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 9. It is highly prized for its vibrant ruffled red flowers, attractive bark, and versatility in various landscape settings.
The Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle is a moderate-sized shrub, typically reaching heights between 8 to 12 feet, with a spread of 6 to 8 feet. Its growth habit is upright and vase-shaped, making it a suitable choice for hedges, privacy screens, or as a specimen plant. The shrub's leaves emerge in spring with a bronze-red hue, gradually transitioning to dark green during the summer months, providing a lush backdrop for the vibrant blooms. In the fall, the foliage turns a striking shade of orange-red, offering additional seasonal interest.
One of the most notable attributes of the Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle is its spectacular display of ruffled, deep red flowers that appear in clusters, or panicles, from mid-summer to early fall. These vibrant blooms can measure up to 8 inches in length and are a magnet for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The shrub's exfoliating bark, which peels away in thin layers to reveal a smooth, mottled surface beneath, is another visually appealing feature that adds texture and interest to the landscape during the winter months when the plant is dormant.
Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle is a low-maintenance shrub that thrives in full sun and well-draining soil. It is drought-tolerant once established, making it suitable for xeriscaping and areas with water restrictions. Pruning is generally minimal but can be done in late winter or early spring to maintain a desired shape and promote healthy growth. This shrub is also resistant to common pests and diseases, such as powdery mildew and aphids, making it an excellent choice for a hassle-free garden.
The Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle is an enchanting addition to any landscape, bringing vibrant color and unique texture to gardens throughout the growing season. Its versatility, low-maintenance nature, and attractive features make it a popular choice for gardeners and landscape designers alike.
The Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle offers a multitude of landscaping uses due to its colorful flowers, attractive foliage, and versatile growth habit. Here are some popular ways to incorporate this stunning shrub into your landscape:
- Specimen plant: Due to its striking appearance, the Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle makes an excellent focal point in the garden. Plant it as a stand-alone specimen to showcase its vibrant blooms and attractive bark.
- Foundation planting: Planting a row of Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtles along the foundation of a building can create a lush, colorful backdrop and soften the appearance of the structure.
- Mixed border: Integrate the Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle into mixed borders with other shrubs, perennials, and annuals to create a dynamic, multi-layered display of color and texture.
- Hedges and screens: The upright, vase-shaped growth habit of this shrub makes it ideal for planting in hedges or privacy screens. A row of Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtles can provide an effective barrier and a stunning display of color.
- Container planting: Smaller specimens of Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle can be grown in containers and placed on patios, decks, or other outdoor living areas to bring color and interest closer to the home.
- Wildlife garden: The vibrant flowers of this shrub attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making it a valuable addition to wildlife gardens and habitat restoration projects.
- Street or park planting: Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtles are suitable for planting along streets, in parks, or other public spaces due to their moderate size, low maintenance requirements, and high tolerance for urban conditions.
- Xeriscaping: Since the Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle is drought-tolerant once established, it can be incorporated into xeriscaping or water-wise garden designs to conserve water and reduce maintenance.
The Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle is a versatile and attractive shrub with numerous landscaping uses. Its colorful flowers, appealing foliage, and ease of maintenance make it a popular choice for various garden settings and styles.
Planting and caring for a Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle requires attention to a few key factors to ensure the shrub thrives and provides a stunning display of color and texture in your landscape. Follow these guidelines for planting and maintaining your Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle:
- Site selection: Choose a location with full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day) to promote optimal flowering and healthy growth. The plant can tolerate partial shade, but flowering may be reduced. Ensure that the site has well-draining soil to prevent root rot or other moisture-related issues.
- Planting: Dig a hole that is twice as wide and as deep as the root ball of the shrub. Gently loosen the roots, place the plant in the hole, and backfill with the excavated soil mixed with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure. Ensure that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Water the plant thoroughly after planting to settle the soil around the roots.
- Watering: During the first year after planting, water your Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle regularly to help establish a strong root system. Once established, the shrub is drought-tolerant and requires less frequent watering. However, it is essential to provide supplemental water during prolonged dry spells or extreme heat.
- Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or wood chips, around the base of the shrub. This helps conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain a consistent soil temperature. Be sure to keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk to prevent disease and pest issues.
- Fertilizing: Apply a slow-release, balanced fertilizer in early spring, following the manufacturer's recommendations. This provides essential nutrients for growth and flowering. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive vegetative growth at the expense of blooms.
- Pruning: Prune your Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Remove any dead, damaged, or crossing branches to maintain a healthy, open structure. Pruning can also be used to shape the shrub or maintain a desired size. Avoid heavy pruning, as this can reduce the number of flowers the following season.
- Pest and disease control: Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle is generally resistant to common pests and diseases, such as powdery mildew and aphids. However, monitor your shrub regularly and address any issues promptly using appropriate cultural or chemical controls.
By following these planting and care guidelines, you can ensure that your Ruffled Red Magic Crapemyrtle thrives and provides a captivating display of color and texture in your landscape.
- Height: 9-12'
- Width: 7-9'
- Exposure: Full Sun
- Hardiness Zone: 7-9
- Heat Zone: 9
- Shape: Upright
- Flower Color: Red
- Foliage: Dark Green
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