Thursday, February 12, 2015

Featured Plant of the Day: Chinese Fringe Bush

Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Burgundy'
Chinese Fringe Bush

Type Shrub, woody plant
Hardy range 7A to 10A
Height 12' to 20' / 3.60m to 6.00m
Spread 10' to 15' / 3.00m to 4.60m
Growth rate Average
Form Rounded
Exposure Partial shade or partial sun to full sun
Persistence Evergreen

Bloom Color Red
Bloom Time Spring

The flowers are fragrant and very showy.

Environment This plant tolerates some drought.
This plant will grow in dry soil.
Suitable soil is well-drained/loamy, sandy or clay.
The pH preference is an acidic to slightly alkaline (less than 6.8 to 7.7) soil.

Leaf Color Purple
Fall Color No change in fall color

Culture Notes Fringebush prefers an acid soil pH and a mostly sunny position in the landscape. Its small size makes it well suited for planting in back of a shrub border or for use as a small tree near the patio. Mass several together to make a dramatic statement and a nice, delicate flower show. It can be trained into a nice espalier. Plant may be listed as a cultivar of the variety rubrum.
Planting and establishing shrubsThe most common cause of young plant failure is planting too deep. Plant the root ball no deeper than it was in the nursery. In most instances, the root flare zone (point where the top-most root in the root ball originates from the trunk) should be located just above the landscape soil surface. Sometimes plants come from the nursery with soil over the root flare. If there is soil over this area, scrape it off. The planting hole should be at least twice the width of the root ball, preferably wider. In all but exceptional circumstances where the soil is very poor, there is no need to incorporate anything into the backfill soil except the loosened soil that came out of the planting hole. Never place ANY soil over the root ball. If a row or grouping of plants is to be installed, excavating or loosening the soil in the entire bed and incorporating organic matter enhances root growth and establishment rate.
Weed suppression during establishment is essential. Apply a 3-inch thick layer of mulch around the plant to help control weed growth. Keep it at least 10 inches from the trunk. If you apply it over the root ball, apply only a one or two inch layer. This allows rainwater and air to easily enter the root ball and keeps the trunk dry. Placing mulch against the trunk or applying too thick a layer above the root ball can kill the plant by oxygen starvation, death of bark, stem and root diseases, prevention of hardening off for winter, vole and other rodent damage to the trunk, keeping soil too wet, or repelling water. Regular irrigation through the first growing season after planting encourages rapid root growth, which is essential for quick plant establishment.