Loropetalum: Chinese Fringe Flower (How To Grow) | GroveGypsy

If you are planting the Loropetalum otherwise known as the Chinese Fringe Flower, then you need to know how to successfully plant and grow these shrubs.

When you are planting a new shrub, it is important to know the proper ways to care for the plant. Every plant is different in what they need in order to flourish for years to come, which can be tough at times. It is important to have the correct information in order to avoid any setbacks in the process of growing a Chinese Fringe Flower.

You grow a Chinese Fringe Flower by providing the shrub with correct sunlight, well-draining acidic soil, consistent moisture, yearly fertilization, proper pruning, and treatment of any pests and diseases that occur.

In order to grow the Chinese Fringe Flower you have to have a solid picture of what they need in order to thrive from initial planting to full maturity. This article will explain more about each of the top areas that are important to growing a thriving shrub.

With the Chinese Fringe Flower being an easily-maintained plant, it has grown in popularity over the years. The information below has been tested through several scientific research studies along with years of human experience to ensure the outcome is healthy growth of a Chinese Fringe Flower.

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How to Successfully Grow A Thriving Chinese Fringe Flower

Plant At the Correct Time of Year

It is best to plant the Chinese Fringe Flower in Spring or Fall. This will allow the plant to mature during milder temperatures and not go into shock if it is trying to grow in extreme heat or cold.

The Chinese Fringe Flower can be planted in the ground or a pot. With how hardy and adaptable it is, it will adjust to either situation it is planted in.

Proper Amount of Sunlight

The best lighting to grow Chinese Fringe Flowers is to plant the shrub in a sunny location. They thrive spending the majority of the day in full sunshine and it is best to put them in a location that will shade them from harsh afternoon rays.

If you live somewhere with minimal sunshine and want to plant this shrub it can grow in almost full shade due to its adaptability.

Optimal Soil

Having consistently moist and acidic soil is the best environment for the Chinese Fringe Flower. Soil PH is determined by the number of hydrogen ions within the soil and it is on a scale of 0-14 with the number 7 being neutral PH. Numbers below 7 are considered more acidic, where numbers over 7 are considered more alkaline.

For the Chinese Fringe Flower, a soil PH of 4.5-6.5 is best. In soil that has a PH of higher than 7, the Chinese Fringe Flower can develop chlorosis, which is a nutritional deficiency. You might be wondering what to do if your soil is more alkaline than what works best for the Chinese Fringe Flower. You still can grow the Chinese Fringe Flower and you can do so by simply increasing your soil’s acidity.

The best thing to do is to have a soil test done so you can find out the actual PH of your soil before increasing the acidity. If you complete the soil test and find that you do need to increase the acidity then the easiest way to increase acidity is to add lime to the soil.

There are several options for adding limestone to your soil including agricultural, pulverized, and pelletized limestone. Pulverized and pelletized limestone will change the PH of the soil the quickest, but pelletized limestone is the easiest to apply with the least amount of mess.

Adequate Hydration

Although moist soil is best, the shrub can live in conditions with dry soil as they become more mature in their growth. It is possible for the Chinese Fringe Flower to thrive in an environment where drought is present, but it does require a little bit of extra care.

If you are growing the plant in dry conditions, it is best to water them more frequently than normal to try to keep the ground somewhat moist. The Chinese Fringe Flower will not survive if kept in a dry environment without additional water. An indication of lack of water is drooping tips of branches and wilted leaves.

The opposite is also true. If you are getting rain constantly in your environment then you do not need to add additional water. There is such a thing as too much water for the Chinese Fringe Flower.

Ideal Temperature

Chinese Fringe Flowers will be happiest in USDA zones 7-10, but they can tolerate below-freezing temperatures. It is important to note that in temperatures close to 0 degrees fahrenheit the Chinese Fringe Flower will lose its leaves in the Winter and not remain evergreen.

Although tough, you can still grow the Chinese Fringe Flower in freezing environments. It would be best to grow it in a pot that you can easily move to a warm garage to reduce the risk of the plant dying. It is especially important to move the plant if there are harsh winds or snow during the winter months.

Once the cold weather season is over, you can then plant the shrubs in the ground if you choose to do so. The Chinese Fringe Flower will grow just as easily in a pot as they do in the ground.

Fertilization

Chinese Fringe Flowers do not require frequent fertilizing. Once they are mature, it is beneficial to fertilize them once per year in early Spring with an all-purpose fertilizer.

A slow-release balanced fertilizer is best for the Chinese Fringe Flower as it will provide the proper nutrients for the plant. The 8-8-8 fertilizer is ideal since it will perfectly balance the carbon to nitrogen ratio.

To fertilize the shrub, you will take the proper amount of fertilizer per the instructions on the package and you will spread it around the root ball. It is best to fertilize in the warmer months as then the plant will not be encouraged to grow too much before the harsher cold months. If you forget to fertilize in the Spring, it is best to wait until the following Spring once the colder weather has passed.

Treating Disease and Pests

Chinese Fringe Flowers tend to not be susceptible to pests or diseases, which contributes to them being easy to care for. However, they can occasionally have spider mites and diseases such as anthracnose and root rot.

If you do notice evidence of spider mites on your Chinese Fringe Flower, then it is important to treat it right away. Evidence of spider mites will appear in ways such as loss of vibrancy in leaves, “sandy” texture to the leaves, and yellow discoloration.

It is important to remove infested leaves immediately and then treat the remaining leaves with a mixture of water and alcohol at a ratio of 1 cup of alcohol to 30 ounces of water. You will spray the mixture on the leaves and wipe them thoroughly.

After this treatment, you will want to continue to treat the plant multiple times per week with a mixture of 1 cup of alcohol and a few drops of dish soap in 30 ounces of water. This will be sprayed on the plant twice per week for a couple of weeks until the problem is resolved.

A fungal infection such as anthracnose can be tough to treat, but it is not usually fatal to the plant. It presents as dark lesions on the leaves of the plant. If you examine the underside of the leaves, you will notice small tan and brown dots about the size of a pin head, which will let you know it is anthracnose and not another leaf spot disease.

To treat anthracnose, you need to remove any infected leaves and branches from the plant and around the plant. It is important to step up the care of the infected plant as well and ensure it is getting proper sunlight, hydration, and fertilization. You can also use this time to prune the plant which helps to encourage healthy new growth.

Occasionally your plant may start having yellowing leaves for an unexplained reason and it might look like it is wilting or dying. These can be symptoms of root rot. It is important to remove the plant from the soil if you suspect root rot.

Remove the soil away from the root ball and examine the roots themselves. If they are black and mushy, then you are dealing with root rot. Start by washing your roots under running water. Once this is completed use a clean pair of shears to trim away the infected roots. After you do this, you will want to repot the plant in a clean and disinfected pot with clean soil. You can disinfect the pot with a bleach solution before repotting.

Pruning

Pruning your Chinese Fringe Flower is an important part of keeping a healthy plant. You want to prune the plant in the Spring after it has bloomed to not prune back any forming buds.

Start with pruning any dead branches at their point of origin. If there are damaged branches then those can be trimmed to an inch or two beyond the break.  Since the Chinese Fringe Flower can grow quickly, its size can increase rapidly. This may also be a reason to prune, but try to not prune more than one-third of the plant at a time.

If you find the plant is growing too quickly and you need to prune it more often, then it might be best to put it in a pot to keep it from growing so rapidly. If you need to transplant the shrub, this is best done during the dormant season to not disrupt any blooming that is happening.

How Fast Does a Chinese Fringe Flower Grow?

The Chinese Fringe Flower is known to have a very high growth rate. They can grow up to 2 feet per year and at full maturity can reach up to 15 feet in height and 6 feet in spread. Because of their fast growth rate, it is important to plant them in a proper location that will allow the amount of growth you are comfortable with.

About THE AUTHOR

Elsie Moore

Elsie Moore

As an experienced gardener & landscaper on my own property over the last 20 years, I'm excited to share the things I've learned along the way, as I continue to learn.

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