Loropetalum - The Ultimate Chinese Fringe Flower Guide from Proven Winners®
With dazzling flowers and evergreen foliage, loropetalum adds year-round interest to the landscape. Also known as Chinese fringe flower, this member of the witch hazel family produces clusters of delicate flowers from mid-winter to early spring when the garden is just awakening.
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Chinese fringe flower is easy to grow, even for novice gardeners. Most are hardy in USDA Zones 7-9, with some to Zone 10. These sturdy shrubs are virtually carefree when given the right growing conditions.
Native to China and Japan, loropetalum comes in a range of sizes and shapes, from dwarf groundcovers to larger upright varieties. Flowers occur in colors of pink, red, cream or white, while foliage can be green, purple, burgundy or variegated.
PLANTING & CARING FOR CHINESE FRINGE FLOWER
How to plant: Follow these steps to plant Chinese fringe flower. Plant in spring or fall. Space 3-6 feet apart, depending on the variety.
- Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2-3 times wider.
- Remove plant from its nursery pot and loosen the soil around the roots.
- Set the plant into the hole with the top of the root ball at soil level or slightly above.
- Back fill the hole with soil and tamp down slightly to remove air pockets. Water well.
- Mulch with a layer of shredded bark to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Soil: Loropetalum performs best in slightly acidic, well-draining soil.
Watering: Soil should be kept moist but not soggy. Water deeply but less frequently to encourage deep, healthy roots. Loropetalum is drought tolerant once established.
Fertilizing: Apply a slow-release fertilizer in early spring that is specially formulated for trees and shrubs.
For containers: Loropetalum can be grown in containers. Choose a pot that is at least 8 inches wider than the root ball and make sure it has adequate drainage holes. Use a high-quality potting mix and add perlite or pumice as needed for extra drainage. Apply a granular slow-release all-purpose fertilizer once a year in spring. After several years, plants may need to be repotted into a larger container or placed in the ground.
TRY THESE PROVEN WINNERS® VARIETIES
Chinese fringe flower comes in a range of sizes and colors. Try these in your garden.
Jazz Hands® White is one of the best white-flowered forms, with dark green leaves that provide an elegant backdrop to the snowy-white flowers. It blooms prolifically in spring, then sporadically throughout summer. The dwarf habit is suitable for containers and small spaces.
Jazz Hands Night Moves® produces a rare combination of deep plum foliage and pure white flowers. As the season progresses, new growth develops an unusual variegation of white, green and purple. The semi-dwarf habit is versatile as hedging, screening or in foundation plantings.
Jazz Hands Variegated® is the first-ever variegated loropetalum. Showy pink flowers stand out against the pink, green and white splashed new growth that fades to rich burgundy. The larger stature makes this variety suitable as screening, hedging or as a distinctive stand-alone specimen.
Jazz Hands Bold® has larger blooms and foliage than any other loropetalum. Deep plum foliage is flushed with pink, offering striking contrast to the bright magenta flowers. Use this larger variety as privacy screening, massed in the landscape, or as a stand-alone focal point.
Jazz Hands® Pink stays delightfully compact, making it suitable for containers, pathway edging and smaller spaces. Deep cranberry-purple foliage contrasts with hot pink flowers, making a dazzling statement in spring. Pair with Jazz Hands® Dwarf White.
Jazz Hands Mini® has a low spreading growth habit, making it suitable as a groundcover at the front of a border, massed along a slope, or as a container specimen. Deep purple foliage holds its color well throughout the season, contrasting with showy magenta flowers in spring.
CHINESE FRINGE FLOWER FAQ’s
Can loropetalum grow in full sun?
You can grow them in full sun or part shade. A minimum of four hours of good sun is recommended for the best foliage color and most flowers. In warm climates, they may need protection from the hot afternoon sun.
How big does loropetalum get?
This upright or spreading shrub can range from 1-15 feet tall and 3-10 feet wide at maturity, depending on the variety. Most of ours stay under 6 feet tall and wide.
Do loropetalum lose their leaves in winter?
There may be some leaf shedding during winter, particularly in colder climates, which is normal and not harmful to plants.
Can you cut back loropetalum?
Chinese fringe flower needs little or no regular pruning, but can also be used as formal hedging and topiaries. Wait until shrubs are finished flowering in spring before pruning. Remove dead or diseased limbs as needed.
How fast does Chinese fringe flower grow?
Plants can reach their mature size in just a few years. The growth rate is slower for miniature forms, while larger varieties grow more quickly. New growth can vary from 6-24 inches per year.
HOW TO USE CHINESE FRINGE FLOWER IN YOUR LANDSCAPE
- Feature a medium to large variety as a stand-alone focal point in the landscape
- Combine a medium-sized form in a foundation planting with other shrubs
- Place a larger variety at the back of a mixed border
- Use as formal hedging to divide garden rooms
- Plant a large variety in a row as privacy screening
- Mass a smaller type along a slope for erosion control
- Train along a trellis or fence for an elegant backdrop
- Plant in a container for an attractive year-round accent
- Use one of these loropetalum container recipes to create the perfect combination
Want to learn more?
Can I Grow Shrubs in Containers?