S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Tonto Crape Myrtle
in the Northeast Florida Jacksonville |
St. Augustine area Landscape
( Lagerstroemia indica ‘Tonto’)
Crape Myrtle Tonto Preferred Exposure:
– Full sun is needed for Tonto Crape Myrtles to grow and bloom properly in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area gardens landscape.
Tonto Crape Myrtle Foliage | Bark:
– Dark green deciduous foliage of the Tonto Crape Myrtle turns yellow red in the fall before falling off the tree for the winter.
Tonto Crape Myrtle Soil Preference / Salt Tolerance:
– Tonto Crape Myrtles do well in most soils providing they are well draining.
– Crape Myrtles are not known to be salt tolerant and should not be planted in areas where salt spray will reach them from the ocean or where highly saline water is used for irrigating.
Tonto Crape Myrtle Size Variance:
– Tonto Crape Myrtle is one of the smaller growing selections and will only grow up to 8-12 feet high and wide.
– Use Tonto Crape Myrtles where you have limited space that a larger species would not be well suited to or you would have to trim back all of the time to keep it in scale you can still allow this variety to grow to its full potential without all the fuss.
Crape Myrtle Tonto Growth Habit:
– Upright rounded growth habit forms a pretty crown of blooming foliage.
Crape Myrtle Tonto Growth Rate:
– Tonto Crape Myrtles are a moderate growing selection.
Tonto Crape Myrtle Bloom:
– Tonto Crape Myrtle blooms a red color.
Crape Myrtle Tonto Water Requirements:
– Crape Myrtles trees are drought tolerant after they are established in the
landscape but will need to be watered well after planting for two weeks to three months in the establishment period depending on the size of the tree being planted and during prolonged periods of drought after established
in the landscape.
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
Best Uses For Crape Myrtles:
– Few trees make quite the statement in the landscape that a Crape Myrtle can. They bloom for months with little care on our part to keep them looking spectacular. Its little wonder they hold such a place in our hearts and in our gardens.
– Plant them alone as a specimen accent or in groups for added dramatic flare. With so many varieties, colors and sizes to choose from, no southern garden should be without at least one!
– Crape Myrtles are the perfect touch of color when inter planted in hedge rows for privacy screens or property borders.
– Low maintenance and drought tolerant once established, Crape Myrtles make excellent commercial plantings for parking lots and street trees.
Care of Crape Myrtles:
– Water every day during the establishment period. See watering your newly planted trees for more information.
-They will need good water during the establishment period and supplemental irrigation during dry spells or particularly hot dry summers.
– All Crape Myrtles bloom on new wood and should be pruned in winter or early spring for best bloom.
– Take care to remove basal suckers and small twiggy growth each year on larger specimens and remove crossing or touching branch growth as well as branches growing towards the center rather than the more desirable growth that grows out and away from other branches.
– During the summer growth season you can choose to trim old blooms and your Crepe Myrtle will put out a second lighter and slightly smaller bloom to replace it and prolong your bloom season.
– Provide a 1 ft diameter circle of mulched area where grass is kept from growing for each inch of caliper (or diameter) of trunk measured 4 inches from the ground level.
– Fertilize each spring with a heaping shovel of compost or a mixture of Milorganite and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the fertilizer around the mulch circle underneath the foliage of the tree.