January Blooms in my Georgia Garden: Loropetalum

Loropetalum Ruby
Loropetalum has become my favorite non-native shrub. Some varieties bloom off and on almost year round here in Georgia. 

Loropetalum is a Chinese Fringe Bush with pink blooms and usually purple leaves. It complements most plants and provides a nice contrast in the garden. The evergreen leaves are beautiful any time of the year. 

Blooms are a vibrant pink fringe flower and come several times a year here in Georgia. Although some growing instructions indicate Loropetalum needs consistently moist soil, I've found that requirement to be untrue. Loropetalum is quite drought tolerant here, and our summer droughts are brutal. I think the key to survival is to plant the shrub in Fall so it has time to dig its roots in deep before the heat and drought of summer arrives.

Available in a large variety of different mature sizes, there's a loropetalum suited for every garden. Lororpetalums with mature sizes of up to 6 feet according to the grower tag have easily reached 10 feet or more here, and that's even after I pruned them in an attempt to keep them smaller. I eventually gave up on that and decided to let them just be as big as they want to be. Some of our Loropetalum shrubs are actually small trees. 

Zhuzhou is our largest Loropetalum. We are using this variety in a mixed shrub planting to screen out our neighbors wire fence. It's fast growth has been much appreciated here. The vivid fuchsia pink fringe flowers on a large tree-like shrub up to 10 feet tall make this plant an eye-catching specimen in the garden. 

Loropetalum Ruby is special because it maintains its purple leaves year round and blooms profusely several times a year.We have quite a few of this large-growing variety in our garden, and they are easily 10 feet tall.

If you have a smaller garden, you'll like Plum Delight, which is a more compact shrub maturing at about 6 feet tall. Foliage is a striking blackish purple or a deep burgundy, and the dark pink fringe flowers are larger than those on other varieties.   

Purple Diamond is an even smaller shrub considered to be semi-dwarf at a mature size of about 5 feet tall and wide.

The smallest development I know of is Purple Pixie, which is a dwarf shrub with a lovely cascading habit that will only be about 3 feet tall at maturity. This one is beautiful in a large pot. The leaves stay deep purple year round here in our garden.

If you visit our garden, you'll notice I am a collector of Loropetalum shrubs. We have twelve or more, and I keep planting them. Loropetalum is one the easiest to grow shrubs one can plant. And I love anything that blooms several times a year! As far as I know, Loropetalum is not invasive, so it is welcome among our native plants. If you don't have Loropetalum, you should get one. Or two, or three!

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