Loropetalum chinensis ‘Plum’
Loropetalum Plum or otherwise known as Plum Delight, is a great, midsized shrub. Distinctive plum colored foliage and pink fringy flowers make this shrub stand out. But what makes the Loropetalum a favorite of gardeners and landscape designers is not only its unique visual elements, but also that it is a tough plant with very little pests and it is easy to grow and maintain.
This partial evergreen shrub prefers moist but well-drained soil, but it is very adaptable to less than ideal conditions. It has a fast growth rate so in order to keep it shaped or in a hedge, it needs to be pruned often. Loropetalum grows best in full sun to partial shade. It needs the sun to maintain its dark foliage, a full and dense shape, and bloom well.
For years, Ruby Loropetalum had been the Loropetalum cultivar of choice and was recognized as a fairly low maintenance landscape plant with very little insect of disease problems. However, recently, there have been increasing reports and complaints of unexplained decline on Ruby Loropetalum, especially in central Florida. The Plum cultivar has been a recommendation in place of the Ruby. Plum is less susceptible to leaf blight and also has a skinnier leaf, darker foliage and smaller, darker flowers.
China, Japan and the Himalayas
Plum Delight, Fringe Flower, Chinese Witchhaze
Hardy Range: 7 – 10
Mature Height: 6 – 8’
Mature Spread: 6 – 8’
Growth Rate: moderate to fast
Growth Habit: upright
Loropetalum Plum maintains its distinctive reddish-purple foliage year around, though it is known to drop some of its leaves in winter. New growth has a bold pink shade, which will deepen to the namesake plum hue as it reaches maturity. Throughout the year, the Loropetalum will produce vibrant pink flowers with long, soft, fringe-like petals.
Soil: slightly alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; loam
Exposure: full sun; partial shade