How do I grow and care for Loropetalums?

Gardens & Landscapes May 15, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
The Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense Oliv. var. rubrum) is an outstanding shrub selection, and both Blush and Burgundy are unique, pink-flowered forms of the typically white-flowered species, Loropetalum chinense. The striking color of the flowers of this evergreen member of the witch hazel family has drawn attention to this under-utilized species. The pink-to-red flowers appear heavily in the spring and again several times throughout the year. This plant is hardy in plant Zones 7b through 9. One of the "Burgundy" Loropetalum's excellent landscape qualities is its evergreen foliage that is an unusual coppery-burgundy color that matures to an olive burgundy-green.This is a low-growing shrub that can be kept around 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide, forming a mound. Or you can let it be natural, where it will reach close to 12 feet in height with an 8-foot spread.There have been records of some reaching 14 feet in height. This would mean that we have the possibility of developing a small tree that would have the color of the purple leaf plum, except it would bloom periodically and stay evergreen. The Burgundy Loropetalum prefers full sun, but can tolerate partial shade. Plant in well-drained, organic-rich beds that are slightly acidic. Whether planting Loropetalums or any other shrub, put them in a bed instead of sticking them in a patch of turf. The Burgundy Loropetalum is an environmentally friendly plant, as it is not known to have any serious pests.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.