Loropetalum Planting, Care and Maintenance Tips

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This article provides information about Loropetalums and growing tips
by Brent Wilson · All Zones · Shrubs · 11 Comments · November 08, 2011 · 87,351 views

Loropetalums are cold hardy in a range of USDA zones 7-10 and require minimal maintenance. Once established, they are very tolerant of drought conditions. Below are some basic guidelines for maintenance and care of loropetalum.

Planting Loropetalum


Transplanting easily from containers, loropetalums preferred growing conditions include sun to partial shade (especially afternoon shade) and organically-rich, gritty, acidic soil with good drainage, though they are adaptable to less than ideal soils.

Follow these step-by-step instructions for planting a loropetalum.

  1. Dig a planting hole at least three times as wide as the root ball of the plant.
  2. Thoroughly mix in organic matter/ soil amendment at at least a 25% ratio with the soil removed from the planting hole. In dense or compacted clay soils you might want to amend at a 50/50 ratio.
  3. Carefully remove the plant's root ball from the container it was grown in and place it in the planting hole, making sure that the top edge of the root ball is slightly above ground level.
  4. Use your soil mixture to back-fill around the root ball, tamping soil as you go to remove air pockets. Back-fill to top edge of root ball, making sure not to put any soil on top of the root ball.
  5. If the planting site is very dry, and/or will be difficult to provide supplemental irrigation if and when there is a drought, you can build a water retention berm around the planting hole. Use leftover soil mixture to build the berm to 1 or 2 inches in height. This berm will serve to capture rainfall, directing it to the root zone.
  6. Deeply water after planting.
  7. Apply a 2-inch layer of shredded wood mulch or pine straw around the plant and you're done!

Care & Maintenance of Loropetalum


As already mentioned, once established, loropetalums require little maintenance or care. Here's a few helpful tips.

Feeding - Loropetalums don't require but will appreciate regular feeding. Fertlize loropetalums after they bloom in early spring, and again in late spring and early fall with a good shrub & tree type fertilizer or a natural or organic shrub and tree food. Always follow instructions on the package of fertilizer for application rates.

Pruning - Loropetalums do not require pruning however, if you want to prune them to maintain a desired shape or form, they respond very well to almost any amount of pruning. Loropetalums can be pruned almost any time of year however it is best to cease pruning during the two months prior to the first frost date in fall. If you have a taller growing loropetalum, you can remove lower branches after the spring bloom to form a single- or multi-trunk small tree. If you want to grow them as a formal or semi-formal hedge, you can shear them any time of year except for the two months prior to first frost. If your loropetalum has become too large, outgrowing the space it was intended to fill, you can cut it back as far as to stumps and it will fill back out with foliage.

Watering - Once established, loropetalums are very drought tolerant shrubs that even during prolonged periods of dry weather or drought will require little if any supplemental irrigation.

Problems - Loropetalums have very few any any serious pest or disease problems. Deer don't like them. Consistently wet soil can cause problems with the roots. Too much shade can reduce bloom production. Leaves may become chlorotic (yellow or discolored) in alkaline soil with a pH greater than 7.0. If this occurs, add chelated iron, aluminum sulfate and or soil sulfur to make soil more acidic. Follow application instructions on product label.


You can buy Loropetalum shrubs online at GardenerDirect.com



Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Great article at a perfect time. I have been interested in this plant for a few weeks. Your list of varieties and pictures helped me to decide as to the perfect one for a spot in my garden.

5 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Thanks for the compliment John! As you can probably tell, I really like loropetalums:-)

5 years ago ·
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Hedy Beil

Hedy Beil · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Is Loropetalum hardy in Zone 5? When should it be planted?

2 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Hi Hedy - Unfortunately, the Loropetalums are not cold hardy in Zone 5. They are hardy only as far north as Zone 7a. Purple Pixie Loropetalum is a true dwarf that's great for use in containers so could be overwintered indoors.

2 years ago ·
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Kristal Walsh

Kristal Walsh · Gardenality Seedling · Zone 8B · 15° to 20° F
I pruned my loropetalums into trees which had a willow look. They were absolutely gorgeous during the spring bloom but in the last few years I just cannot reach the top any longer and the pruning maintenance is just too hard. So I am going to cut them way back this year to about 4 feet. I hope they recover. The trunks are probable 2-3" caliper..still undecided on my approach. Chainsaw maybe? ??

1 year ago ·
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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Hi Kristal-Cutting back your loropetalums should be fine. These shrubs normally recover well from hard or rejuvenation pruning. A similar question was asked awhile back. You can copy and paste these links in your browser to go to the question and answer regarding sever pruning of the loropetalums.
http://www.gardenality.com/Questions/1474/Plants/Trees/Will-Loropetalum-Tolerate-And-Survive-Heavy-Hard-Pruning.html
http://www.gardenality.com/Articles/826/Plants/Shrubs/About-Loropetalum/Loropetalum-Planting-Care-and-Maintenance-Tips.html

1 year ago ·
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M Duffy

M Duffy · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
I have transplanted one to Lancaster, PA (Millersville more specifically) ... Zone 6A-6B and positioning it against a house wall and close to a heat pump compressor unit. Fingers crossed it will survive. Will report back next Spring.

1 year ago ·
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D Kellner

D Kellner · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
I was hoping you could share some info regarding placement of these shrubs. I had 6 placed in a ring below a pine tree and they dont seem to be doing very well. I live in South Carolina. It seems no plants, or grass for that matter, seem to do well under or near these trees. I have watered, feed, applied acid fertilizer but still no good. Oh...one other thing....the deer here don't seem to mind the taste of the Loropetalum, so spraying with deer repellant also.

5 months, 1 week ago ·
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Kristal Walsh

Kristal Walsh · Gardenality Seedling · Zone 8B · 15° to 20° F
I am sure John will chime in shortly but just saw this message and wanted to say that I am in 8b but have acid soils. I have loropetalums in many areas of my yard which has conifers and hardwoods. But I am fairly certain that these shrubs will do better in full sun, at least mine do. They are fairly disease resistant but do require some annual pruning. I am not sure about using repellant for vegetation but you might try other forms of deterrents like motion-activated sprinklers or lights that come on when the deer are in the yard if you do not want them there. I would think that your acidity would be on target with the pines so additional acid applications would not be necessary. Older pines will have surface roots which does make it difficult to grow shrubs directly around the base. Have you tried native azaleas/rhododendrons? Curious about John's response!

5 months, 1 week ago ·
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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Kristal is right on. The loropetalum should do well around the conifers. They actually will do well in most soils as long as the soil is well draining. Like Kristal said the roots of the pines may make it hard to grow most shrubs under. If not making the soil hard packed the shrubs may be competing for water and nutrients. Again like Krystal said these plants do much better when they get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. You might check to make sure the soil is not staying too wet under the pines. Too wet a soil will cause poor growth. It can also cause root rot or other fungal diseases that in time will kill these shrubs. Unfortunately very few plants are actually deer resistant especially if there favorite foods are scarce. There are several sprays you can use to help deter deer but I really haven't found one that works well. I actually use a motion detecting sprinkler system that has worked really well. I have an article in Gardenality regarding this system. PROTECTING YOUR GARDEN FROM RACCOONS You may be interested in reading this article.

5 months, 1 week ago ·
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Kristal Walsh

Kristal Walsh · Gardenality Seedling · Zone 8B · 15° to 20° F
Thanks for that, John! Tried to give you another Thumbs up but it is not cooperating right now. Will try again later. Hope you are doing well. Kristal

5 months, 1 week ago ·
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