Crape myrtle ‘Tonto’
* Common name: Crape myrtle ‘Tonto’
* Botanical name: Lagerstroemia indica ‘Tonto’
* What it is: Summer-blooming mid- to large-sized shrub with rosy-magenta flowers and surprisingly attractive golden-red fall foliage.
* Size: 8 feet tall and 7 feet wide is a good mature maintenance size.
* Where to use: Excellent specimen for a sunny house corner or as the centerpiece of a mixed island bed. Also can be grouped in shrub borders or used as a summer-flowering hedge.
* Care: Crape myrtles are some of the last plants to come back to life in spring, so don’t dig up ‘Tonto’ for dead even if he’s bare into early May. Wait for new growth to appear and then cut off any dead wood and prune back wayward growth. In a really cold winter, all top growth may die off, but roots should push up new shoots by late May. Fertilize in spring with a scattering of Plant-tone or similar balanced organic fertilizer. Tough in drought but sometimes gets powdery mildew on leaves.
* Great partner: Liriope is an ideal spiky, foot-tall groundcover that nicely surrounds and covers ‘Tonto’s’ bare legs.