The Q&A Archives: Lorapetalum Culture

Question: I recently purchased a dark red container grown shrub with tag name Lorapetalum chinense 'Ruby', and would like to know its habits and nurture.

Answer: Loropetalum (Loropetalum chynensee) is related to Witch-hazel and Sweet-gum. It is a compact shrub (6-15' at maturity) with outward pointing branches and alternate, simple, rough, evergreen, ovate leaves up to 2" long. The yellowish flowers appear in clusters in early spring. <br><br>Loropetalum does best in high shifting shade or north side locations. Requires reasonably fertile, acid soil with plenty of organic matter. Well-drained soil is a requirement for success. If yours will be planted outside in such a soil, it needs no fertilizer, but will appreciate a mulch of compost, aged manure and peat moss once or twice per year. If you plan to keep it in a container, enrich the soil with the same, plus a handful of bone meal. Feed container grown plants with a gentle, slow release fertilizer twice during the growing season.

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