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Crape Myrtle Tonto

Crape Myrtle Tonto


Description: The Tonto Crape Myrtle is a deciduous shrub or small tree prized for its profusion of large, deep red flowers that bloom in summer. The flowers are borne in panicles at the tips of branches and are known for their intense color and long-lasting display. The foliage of the Tonto Crape Myrtle is dark green in color and turns shades of orange, red, and yellow in the fall before dropping. In addition to its flowers, the Tonto Crape Myrtle is also valued for its attractive exfoliating bark, which peels away to reveal smooth, cinnamon-colored bark underneath.

Size: Tonto Crape Myrtles typically grow to a height of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters) with a spread of 8 to 12 feet (2.4 to 3.7 meters) at maturity. However, individual plants may vary in size depending on growing conditions, climate, and pruning practices. Tonto Crape Myrtles have an upright, vase-shaped growth habit with multiple stems emerging from the base. They can be pruned to maintain a more compact size or encouraged to grow taller for use as a specimen plant or small tree.

Best Growing Zones: The Tonto Crape Myrtle thrives in regions with warm, temperate climates and is well-suited to USDA hardiness zones 7 through 9. It prefers climates with mild winters and long, hot summers, although it can also tolerate a range of conditions. Tonto Crape Myrtles perform best in full sun exposure, receiving at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. They are relatively drought tolerant once established and can withstand periods of dry weather.

Soil Requirements: Tonto Crape Myrtles prefer well-drained soil with good fertility and adequate moisture retention. They are adaptable to a variety of soil types, including sandy, loamy, or clay soils, as long as they are well-drained. Amending the soil with organic matter such as compost or peat moss before planting can improve soil structure and provide essential nutrients for healthy growth.

Maintenance: Tonto Crape Myrtles are relatively low-maintenance once established but benefit from regular care to ensure healthy growth and abundant flowering. Prune Crape Myrtles as needed to remove dead, diseased, or overgrown branches and to maintain the desired shape and size. Light pruning can be done throughout the growing season, while more extensive pruning is typically done in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. Mulching around the base of the plant helps retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and protect the shallow roots.

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