Loropetalum: Planting And Care
Loropetalum are red intense flowers (6). They have striking dark brown leaves (5). The long flowering period of the loropetalum (4) makes it a beautiful addition to the garden (3). However, it requires special care in winter, and that will be studied below (2). We recommend planting it in pots or any container that you can take indoors in winter (1).
The loropetalum stands best in full sun (7). After seven years it reaches a height of approx. 75 cm (2.5 ft) and a width of approx. 1 m (3.2 ft). The variety is evergreen and hardy down to -10°, C. Good as a solitaire in a flower bed, as a compact hedge or in a pot with other plants for patio or balcony.
The pink strap-shaped petals make this shrub a very special eye-catcher in the garden. They harmonize perfectly with the bright dark red color of the leaves. From March to April it delights the heart of the gardener and his visitors with its fragrant flowers. Afterwards, the evergreen plant shines with its dark red leaf color, which offers great contrast, especially on dull and gloomy winter days.
Loropetalum thrives optimally in a single position in the garden or in a tub on the balcony or terrace in sunny to semi-shady locations. When planting, it should be ensured that the location is protected from strong winds and the first ground frosts. To achieve optimum plant growth, it is important to select fresh, moist soil rich in humus and to water the plant regularly but moderately. It is sensitive to frost and tolerates only a few degrees below zero. It should, therefore, be wintered in a frost-free place, preferably at 46 °F to 54 °F (8 to 12°C). In spring, it can be transported outdoors again, so that it can develop its extraordinary flowers.
If these location requirements are taken into account, the colorful and evergreen shrub can conjure up a splash of color in every garden and on every terrace over many years. After a long winter, the exotic-looking flowers, are one of the first splashes of color at the beginning of the gardening year. Once they have faded, the well-branched and bushy shrub has a striking effect due to its dark red shining leaves. These are ovoid and slightly pointed and give the plant an extraordinary charm all year round.
Winter Special Care For The Loropetalum
The strap flower performs a masterly feat in the garden, securing it many admiring glances. Its foliage is strikingly dark red, bright pink flowers intensify the intense play of colors from March to April. In autumn, the leaves remain on the plant but would freeze to death outside unprotected. This is how you overwinter Loropetalum.
The red shrub from the Far East is a nodding candidate when it comes to safe wintering in this country. The frost need not become a danger if it is in the single-digit range.
Since in our latitudes winters can be icy, cultivation in a bed does not offer a safe life. Therefore, the shrub often leads a life as a mobile potted plant.
If you are lucky enough to live in a mild region of the country, the prospects are good that Lorepetalum will also make it through the winter outside. But for this, really everything possible must be done. Already at the time of planting, the plant should be provided with a protected location so that it does not suffer from icy winds.
When the first frosts announce themselves, the branches of the strap flower must be given a protective cover. Wrap the crown with special plant fleece. Also, protect the root area with a thick layer of leaves or brushwood.
Even the proven winter protection measures cannot compensate for its lack of winter hardiness. This is because the pot offers the frost a good surface to attack from all sides. Invite the shrub to move indoors until spring.
- it should be frost-free
- 8 to 12 °C are ideal
- as light as possible
In winter, the loropetalum does not need fertilizer but must be supplied with water. However, this should definitely be done according to its needs. It is possible that the plant receives too little light in its location and subsequently sheds a few leaves. This also reduces its water requirements.
Fertilize the loropetalum every two weeks during the vegetation phase with a commercial liquid fertilizer for loropetalum plants. Increase the time interval in the wintertime to many weeks.
Wait until the surface dries before watering again. If the wetness persists, root rot can develop quickly, which is to the detriment of the whole plant. Therefore, make sure that the plant is well-drained. On warm days, spray the foliage of the strap plant with water, which has a beneficial effect on its growth.
The room temperature also influences the water consumption of the plant. The colder it is, the less water is needed to keep the soil slightly moist.
Bonsai With Loropetalum
Growing it as a bonsai produces a crown shape that is exotically reminiscent of the Far East. The dark red foliage and pink flowers make Loropetalum a particularly attractive mini plant!
Buy cultivated bonsai
It takes a lot of experience to grow a Loropetalum as a bonsai yourself. So it is easier to buy the plant already as a finished bonsai. In a normal nursery, it will certainly not be part of the standard offer. But you can track down one or the other online shop that sells this plant.
Loropetalum Bonsai Care
The advice provided for loropetalum care in this article applies also to bonsai care. Fertilize the bonsai every two weeks during the vegetation phase with a commercial liquid fertilizer for bonsai plants. Increase the time interval in the wintertime to many weeks.
A bonsai plant also sprouts vigorously in summer. If the scissors are not used regularly, the plant will quickly lose its shape.
- cut young shoots after flowering
- if they are about 4-5 cm long
- cut back to 2 to 3 leaves
- weave young branches till they are young
- Gently spread or tighten older branches as required
If shape retention demands it, this bonsai can be cut back a little all year round.
Loropetalum should be repotted every two to three years. Older specimens are satisfied with fresh soil every four to five years.
Loropetalum is considered hardy if the thermometer shows values between 0 °C and -10 °C. But a potted plant is more sensitive in this respect. Therefore, the bonsai must not be left outside all the time. During the main winter months, it must hibernate indoors in a bright place with temperatures between 8 and 12 °C.
This decorative shrub is best placed in full sun, but partial shade is also possible. After 7 years it reaches a height of approx. 75 cm and a width of approx. 1 m. The variety is evergreen and is well suited as a solitaire in a bed, as a compact hedge or in a pot with other plants for patio & balcony. The perennial & hardy ornamental shrub thrives best in fertile, well-drained, humus-rich soil. Give the plant a location that is as sheltered from the wind as possible.
Supply the plant with water as needed, even in winter.
Loropetalum is generally free of pests and diseases and will grow best in full sun, but can also be grown in partial shade. You can add loropetalum to your landscape at any time of the year. This eye-catching shrub prefers acidic and well-drained soils, as alkaline or wet conditions can cause problems for these plants.
The loropetalum cultivar ‘Ruby’ seems to be particularly susceptible to decline—likely caused by nutrient deficiencies—and has not done well in many areas in Florida. Other cultivars, such as ‘Burgundy’, ‘Plum Delight™’, ‘Pizzazz™’, and ‘Sizzlin’ Pink’ have had fewer reports of decline issues.
With a vase-shaped growth habit and lovely, spreading canopy, loropetalum can grow 6 to 15 feet tall. You can keep it more compact with regular pruning; in home gardens, loropetalum is often kept to a much smaller, rounded canopy of 5 to 6 feet.
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.