Chinese Fringe Plant - Plant of the Month: November 2015

Loropetalum Chinensis

Purple Chinese Fringe Plant aka Chinese Witchhazel - loropetalum chinensisSo many people ask me "what is that plant with the purple to burgundy color leaves?"  There are just a few plants that fall into that description and the most popular one is the Loropetalum.  It's a funny name but some know it as Chinese Fringe Plant or Chinese Witchhazel.  Over the last several years Loropetalum has become a very popular plant in both commercial and residential landscapes.  If you see a plant being used commercially you know it's hardy, and it is an excellent choice for the low maintenance landscape.

Purple Chinese Fringe Plant aka Chinese Witchhazel - loropetalum chinensisLoroperalum is hardy to zone 7 which is basically the southern part of the United States.   Loropetalum can grow to 20' but most varieties will get around 4' to 5' tall and wide. It is a low maintenance plant the will grow in full sun and partial shade.  It adapts to most soil types but does perfer a more acidic soil. The leaves are small but pack a punch in the color department.  In fact that is why most use this plant - for the foliage color.

Chinese Fringe Plant aka Chinese Witchhazel - Loropetalum ChinensisThe new foliage will come out purple and will change to green in some varieties.  The long arching branches will provide pink to purple flowers in early spring.

Loropetalum is drought tolerant, deer resistant, and evergreen.

Loropetalum 'Purple Pixie' is a weeping variety that can be used as a ground cover or is great in a hanging basket. It will get about 1' to 2' tall and about 4' wide. It also has the pink to purple flowers.

White Chinese Fringe Plant aka Chinese Witchhazel - Loropetalum ChinensisHowever, if your preference is for white flowers, than check out these varieties that have  white blooms. The first is 'Carolina Moonlight'. It will grow 3' to 4' tall and 5' wide. And the second is 'Snow Mound' which will grow 1' to 3' tall and 2' to 3' wide.

In general Loroperalum is a hardy shrub that can be used as a foundation plant, a specimen shrub, a ground cover or a hedge.  There are several varieties, so find the one that will grow best in your area.  And remember, that with such a vast selection, you will find one that is just right for your landscape needs