Loropetalum with its choice of selections is a great landscape plant for our gardens today on Southern Gardening.
There are many selections available from large shrub/small tree forms to dwarf and trailing. The straight species has green foliage; I especially like the burgundy leaf varieties when grown in the full sun for best color development. The flowers of loropetalum are unusual having strap-like petals and are reminiscent of the flowers of the favorite winter blooming witch-hazel. The green leaved varieties typically have white flowers while the dark burgundy leaved selections have pink to red flowers. Loropetalum makes a fine landscape plant all across Mississippi. Burgundy was selected as a Mississippi Medallion Winner in 2001 and is still a landscape favorite. This selection will grow to ten feet or more with reddish purple foliage and bright orange in the fall. The flowers have twisted straps and are hot pink in color.
I really like the smaller selections like Ruby loropetalum typically reaching a three foot by three foot rounded form. The new foliage emerges ruby red before maturing to dark burgundy. One of the best introductions in recent years is Purple Pixie loropetalum with deep purple burgundy foliage which is distinctly weeping. This feature makes Purple Pixie a good choice for the spiller plant in a combination container. Loropetalum is also a good choice when considering watering needs. This plant tolerates the droughty conditions we frequently experience in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes. This shrub is tolerant of many landscape soil conditions, especially if attention is paid at planting.
I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.