How To Plant A Purple Pixie Loropetalum

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This article provides instructions and tips for planting a Purple Pixie Loropetalum
by Brett · All Zones · Planting · 0 Comments · September 22, 2014 · 18,593 views

Where To Plant Purple Pixie Loropetalum

With it's dwarf size and mounding form, Purple Pixie Loropetalum is just the plant we've been looking for, for decades. Growing to only 1 to 2 feet in height with a spread of 4 to 5 feet, it boasts some of the most intense purple foliage color of any plant on the market, and the color doesn't fade during summer or winter, or in sun or shade. What's more, it produces vibrant pink fringe flowers that contrast wonderfully with the deep purple foliage.

In the landscape, I use Purple Pixie Loropetalum in groupings or massed on slightly to steeply sloped ground and as a border along paths and walkways. Provided there is good drainage, I also use Purple Pixie in home foundation plantings under low windows, as a border along walks and paths, or to underplant small trees such as crape myrtle and green leaved Japanese maples. It also makes a fine container garden plant, where it branches cascade over the edges of pots and planters.

Soil and Sun are Important!

Soil Drainage - Most importantly, I've learned by trial and error that this plant requires very good soil drainage. It's not too picky about soil type, however, constantly wet or soggy soil will often lead to onset of root disease and, eventually, death of the plant.

Soil pH - In order to use nurtients in the soil to maintain overall health and vigor, Purple Pixie Loropetalum requires an acidic soil ranging from 4.5 to 6.5 on the pH scale. Whenever growing plants that prefer a specific pH it's a good idea to test the soil. Testing kits are available at most local nursery and garden centers or you can buy soil test kits online here. Your local Extension Service might provide soil testing services as well. Depending on the results of the soil test, you can add lime to raise the pH (make more alkaline) or soil sulfur to lower the pH (make more acid).

Sun Needs - Purple Pixie Loropetalum will grow in full sun or pat shade. At least 4 hours of sun per day.

Needless to say, Purple Pixie Loropetalum is one of if not my favorite varieties of Loropetalum. I've had very good success growing this plant provided they are planted in the right location and using proper planting technique. So let's get straight to tips and instructions for plant Purple Pixie Loropetalum...


How To Plant a Purple Pixie Loropetalum in Well-Drained Soil


To be on the safe side, it's best to test soil drainage before planting, even when planting on sloped ground.

SEE: How to Test for Soil Drainage

Step 1 - Dig the planting hole
If your soil drains well, start by digging your planting hole at least two to three times as wide and no deeper than the rootball. The wider the hole the better. Place soil removed from planting hole around the perimeter of the hole.

Step 2 - Amend soil if necessary
Depending on the type, fertility and porosity of the soil you are planting in, you might need to add a soil amendment to the native soil removed from the planting hole. When planting in heavy clay soil thoroughly mix in some good organic matter, such as composted cow manure, mushroom compost, a good planting mix, at a 50/50 ratio with the clay soil. When planting in very sandy, quick-draining soil you might want to consider adding some peat moss and or compost to help retain moisture. When planting in fertile, loamy, well-drained soil you might not need to add any soil amendment.

Step 3 - Remove plant from pot
Gently remove your plant from the pot it was growing in. If the root ball is stuck in the pot either cut the container away or place the plant on it's side and gently pound on the side of the container to loosen the root ball. After having removed the plant from the container, gently loosen some feeder roots around the surface of the root ball.

Step 4 - Set rootball in the planting hole
If you are planting in well- or moderately-drained soil set the plant in the hole so that the top edge of the rootball is 1 to 3 inches above ground level, depending on soil drainage. If necessary, add some backfill soil mixture to the bottom of the hole to achieve proper planting height.

Step 5 - Backfill planting hole
Use your hand to begin back-filling your soil mixture around the root ball, tamping as you go to remove air pockets. When you have filled the hole to the halfway point you can soak the soil. Then continue back-filling to the top edge of the root ball tapering your soil mixture gradually to the ground level, essentially creating a slightly raised mound. To avoid suffocating your plant, do NOT put any soil on top of the root ball.

Step 6 - Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer of shredded or chipped wood mulch or pine straw around the planting area.


Watering Your Newly Planted Purple Pixie Loropetalum


Keep in mind that Loropetalum does not like constantly soggy soil, which can be a killer. More newly planted Loropetalum die within the first year due to overwatering than to underwatering. Water only enough during the first year to keep the soil moist but not soggy wet.

After Planting: Deep soak the planting area to a depth of at least 6 inches. It's also a good idea to water the first time with a solution of Root Stimulator, which is available at most nursery and garden centers, or you can buy Root Stimulator online here.

During the First Active Growth Season - In the absence of sufficient rainfall, water as needed to keep the rootball and surrounding soil damp to moist, but not constantly soggy or wet, which could lead to root rot.

Thereafter - When established, it's been my experience here in central Georgia that Purple Pixie Loropetalum is exceptionally drought tolerant, having very low if any water needs. After the first year plants will require supplemental irrigation only during prolonged periods of drought.


Planting instructions for poorly drained sites, containers and other tips on next page


You can buy Purple Pixie Loropetalum online at GardenerDirect.com


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