Plant of the month- Loropetalum

Botanical name: Loropetalum chinense 

Common name: Chinese Fringe Flower 

Origin: China and Japan 

I feel like this plant is not used enough, it really is beautiful and has so much to offer. Vibrant coloured leaves, compact shape and a gorgeous soft flower, hence the name 'fringe'. 

Loropetalum chinense also known as Fringe Flower. Loropetalums are popular ornamental plants grown for their clusters of flowers and horizontal branching which gives them a distinctive oriental feel. There are many forms, ranging from those with white to pale yellow flowers and green foliage through to pink flowering variety with deeper bronze and red foliage.

‘Plum Gorgeous’ performs well in full sun to part shade, is versatile in application from informal hedging through to containers and has a compact growing habit. In fact, ‘Plum Gorgeous’ is much more compact that most other Loropetalums on the market and also has a more rounded and even shape. With its branching structure, this is a perfect choice if you’ve got an oriental themed garden. They look great around the base of a garden sculpture to create that little bit of Asian inspiration.

Although ideal for a rock garden, loropetalum is essentially a plant for the mixed shrub border.

It mixes very well with camellias. They both enjoy the same kind of soil and, when the loropetalum has finished flowering, the camellias take over. Camellias also provide exactly the right shelter for these tenderish shubs.

Rhododendrons also make good companions,

A great garden double act is created by planting loropetalum with the winter-flowering shrubby honeysuckles such as Lonicera which produce ivory white, very fragrant flowers on leafless twigs at the same time that loropetalum, in full colourful foliage, is also flowering.

Under-planting also enriches this rather exceptional shrub. Try planting with evergreen ferns such as polypodiums. These are invisible during late spring and summer, produce their elegant fronds in late summer and early autumn, and remain fresh throughout the winter.

Best of all – and the characteristic from which it takes its great name – is the deep plum coloured foliage which it maintains all year round.

In autumn and spring, and even into the summer months, ‘Plum Gorgeous’ will reward you with bright displays of vibrant raspberry coloured tassel flowers.

Grab a few of this particular variety if you are after that real variation in foliage in your garden. ‘Plum Gorgeous’ works really well planted against lime green plants as the colours contrast so nicely.

Tips for growing Loropetalums

  • Plan your colours to begin with. ‘Plum Gorgeous’ looks great in a black pot for an oriental feel or try a bright contrasting colour for a real statement.
  • As it’s low growing, plant ‘Plum Gorgeous’ at the front of garden beds for maximum impact.
  • Loropetalums in general prefer moist but well drained soils but are quite adaptable to less than ideal conditions.
  • Pruning is generally not required however you can give a light trim after flowering to help keep them in your preferred shape.
  • A feed with a slow release fertilizer in early spring is beneficial.
  • Ideal for low maintenance areas, rockeries and garden edges.

Height- approximately 1m

Spread- approximately 2m

Growing conditions- part shade/ full sun

Image via Google 

Image via Google