How to Care for Loropetalum Plants
Loropetalum belongs to the witch hazel family and consists of only three species. It is a fast-growing shrub or tree that can grow up to 15 feet tall. These plants are hardy down to USDA zone 7, which means they can grow where temperatures do not drop below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Once established, the Lorepetalum requires little care. With knowledge on how to create the right environment for the plant, you can produce a healthy tree.
Plant the Loropetalum in an area with full sun or partial shade. It blooms best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade, especially in the afternoon. The Loropetalum likes slightly acidic well-drained soil. At the time of planting, mix organic compost into the soil to increase nutrients for the plant.
Place a 2-to-4-inch layer of mulch around the tree, keeping it 3 to 6 inches away from the trunk. This will improve moisture content of the soil and keep down competing weeds.
Water the Loropetalum regularly after planting, keeping it slightly moist. Do not soak it, as the tree's roots are susceptible to root rot with standing water. When the tree starts growing on its own, decrease watering frequency, allowing the soil to dry between watering. Once established, the tree is very drought tolerant.
Fertilize the Loropetalum in April and again in June to encourage growth. Use a slow-release tree and shrub food. Follow the directions on the package, but apply the fertilizer lightly.
Prune in the spring after flowering only if necessary. Cut out dead, broken or diseased branches with pruning shears. The tree can tolerate heavy pruning, but it is not usually required if you choose the right spot for the plant.
Care For A Loropetalum Shrub
The loropetalum shrub (Loropetalum chinense), also called fringe flower, is an evergreen member of the witch hazel family. It grows from 6 to 12 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet in diameter. The blooms continue to appear sporadically throughout summer and fall. It is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 7b through 9. Plant at the same level it was growing in its original container and water until the soil feels very moist. After loropetalum is established it will only require supplemental watering during very dry conditions. Prune to control the size and shape of the shrub in late spring, after the first flush of flowering is complete.
- Organic compost
- Slow-release tree and shrub fertilizer
- Pruning shears
- Clemson Extension: Loropetalum
- University of Georgia Extension: Loropetalum chinense
- Alabama Cooperative Extension: Loropetalum – A Southern Alternative
- Floridata: Loropetalum Chinense
- Fine Gardening: Loropetalum Chinense
- University of Georgia Extension: Loropetalum Chinense
- Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Loropetalum--A Southern Alternative