How To Grow And Care For Loropetalum

These low-maintenance shrubs are blooming with potential and colorful flowers.

Photo: Joshua McCullough/Getty Images

Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense) is easy to grow. You can practically plant them and forget them. But you won't because these shrubs with white, pink, creamy white, or reddish-purple blooms, also called Chinese fringe-flowers, are attractive and versatile. These natives of woodlands in Southeast Asia, China, and Japan, have rich green or purplish foliage that plays beautifully against green, gold, or blue tones.

Loropetalum is related to witch hazels. Their clusters of fringe-like, strappy flowers appear from late winter into spring and early summer. The plants have a natural, graceful shape and arching stems, attracting bees and butterflies, although deer tend to avoid them.

Plant Attributes

 Common Name:  Chinese Fringe Flower, Strap Flower, Chinese Witch Hazel
 Botanical Name:  Loropetalum chinense
 Family:  Hamamelidaceae
 Plant Type:  Perennial, Shrub
 Mature Size:  6-15 ft. tall, 3-15 ft. wide
 Sun Exposure:  Full, Partial
 Soil Type:  Well-draining, Rich, Loamy
 Soil pH:  Acidic to Neutral (4.0 to 7.0)
 Bloom Time:  Spring, Winter
 Flower Color:  Red, Pink, Purple, White
 Hardiness Zones:  Zones 7-10 (USDA)
 Native Area:  Asia

Loropetalum Care

Loropetalum grows well in small groups or as specimen plants, hedges, borders, or screens. They range from six to 15 feet tall and wide and come in dwarf, medium-sized, and tall types that weep or grow upright. Taller ones grow faster than smaller ones. Most are hardy in USDA Zones 7 to 10. Loropetalum roots are not known to be invasive.


Loropetalum thrives in filtered full sun, all-day sun, or cool morning sun with afternoon shade. They need at least four hours of direct sun each day.


Loropetalum needs rich, loamy, loose, slightly acidic to neutral soil (4.0 to 7.0 pH) that drains quickly. Work bagged topsoil or planting soil into clay or dense soils, aiming for a 50/50 ratio of native soil to amendments. Improve sandy soil by mixing in topsoil, compost, or peat moss.


Water newly planted Loropetalum thoroughly and deeply. Then water regularly, if there's insufficient rainfall, to keep the soil slightly moist. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Avoid overwatering—they can't take soggy soil or constantly wet roots.

Temperature and Humidity 

Loropetalum can tolerate cold temperatures, as low as 0°F. Mulching over winter helps retain moisture. Protect plants from severe winds or harsh winter conditions. Moderate humidity levels are best for Loropetalum. If growing Loropetalum in an arid climate, use a spray bottle to add moisture. 


Mulch Loropetalum with two to four inches of pine straw, shredded bark, or aged wood chips. Don't let the mulch touch the plants—replenish it as needed. Feed Loropetalum in late spring and mid-summer with an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer or shrub fertilizer. Follow the label instructions and water thoroughly.

Types of Loropetalum

There are several varieties and cultivars of Loropetalum. Here are some to know:

  • 'Burgundy': Reddish-purple leaves that age to purple-green or dark olive. In fall, older leaves are orange-red or red. The flowers are hot pink. It grows six to 10 feet tall and wide in Zones 7 to 9.
  • 'Daruma': A dwarf variety growing two to five feet tall and three to five feet wide. Plum-colored leaves contrast with bright pink blooms in Zones 7 to 10.
  • Jazz Hands® White: A dwarf variety with dark green leaves and snowy-white flowers. This plant reaches three to five feet tall and wide in Zones 7 to 9.
  • 'Emerald Snow': A semi-dwarf variety with new lime-green leaves that turn rich green. The flowers are creamy-white, growing four to six feet tall and three to four feet wide in Zones 7 to 10.
  • 'Zhuzhou Fuchsia': Deep pink flowers held against blackish-maroon leaves, growing six to eight feet tall in Zones 7 to 9.
  • 'Jazz Hands Mini': A variety with deep purple leaves and magenta flowers. At 10-to-12-inches tall, it spreads to make a good ground cover, container plant, or front-of-the-border plant in Zones 7 to 9.


Prune Loropetalum to control their size or shape after the flowers fade in spring. Remove broken, dead, or diseased branches. While a low-maintenance plant, Loropetalum can tolerate heavy pruning if used as topiaries, Bonsai, or around foundations. Since Loropetalum grows on old wood, wait until after flowering to prune—usually summer to early fall.

Propagating Loropetalum

Loropetalum easily propagates from softwood cuttings in spring or summer. Before propagating, be sure that your plant is not patented. Patented plants are illegal to propagate. You can check the tag, label, or container to see if your plant is patent-protected. Patented plants will bear a trademark, registered trademark, or patent number by their name. Here's how to propagate Loropetalum:

  1. Using pruning shears or a sharp knife, take a six-inch cutting of soft, woody growth.
  2. Leave at least two sets of top leaves and remove the rest. 
  3. Dip the ends in rooting hormone and stick them in a 50/50 mix of perlite and peat. 
  4. Create a greenhouse effect by covering them with clear plastic bags but not letting the plastic touch them. Keep the soil moist. 
  5. Roots should develop in four to six weeks—transplant in the following growing season.

Potting and Repotting Loropetalum

Repot Loropetalum while pruning so it has fewer branches for its root system to support. Carefully dig up the Loropetalum plant by creating a wide circumference around the root system. If moving Loropetalum into a container, choose a dwarf or slow-growing variety. Use containers with drainage holes and a quality potting mix.


Loropetalum is an evergreen perennial, but the leaves may drop in colder climates. Protect their roots with mulch and cover them with burlap or shrub wraps if temperatures fall below 0°F. Protect plants from harsh winter winds. Loropetalum still needs moisture throughout the winter, but watering can decrease if the plant does not dry out completely.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Few pests or diseases bother Loropetalum. Knock off spider mites or aphids with water from the hose or spray persistent infestations with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. Avoid chemical pesticides, which kill beneficial insects that help control aphids. Deter scale by keeping plants healthy through proper fertilizing and watering. Prune away branches with heavy-scale infestations, use double-sided, sticky tape traps, or spray with horticultural oil.

Some diseases that impact Loropetalum include fungal blights and powdery mildew. Anthracnose is a fungal blight that causes the foliage to turn yellow, wither, and drop prematurely. Bacterial gall is also an issue for Loropetalum. While there is no cure, fungicides may discourage galls from spreading. Keep Loropetalum healthy by avoiding overcrowding when planting and watering from overhead. Plus, always use clean pruning tools and shears.

How to Get Loropetalum to Bloom

There are several reasons why Loropetalum may not bloom. One reason Loropetalum is not blooming is that it is not receiving enough sunlight. If planted under trees, the overhead shade might prevent Loropetalum from flowering. Additionally, Loropetalum pruned at the wrong time can prevent it from flowering since it blooms on old wood. Wait until summer or early fall to prune to avoid removing the following year's flowers. Loropetalum does not require deadheading, but removing spent blooms is one way to maintain healthy plants. 

Common Problems With Loropetalum

While Loropetalum is relatively easy-to-maintain, there are still some issues to know so you can treat them. Here's what to know:

Leaves Turning Yellow

Yellow leaves may mean your soil is too alkaline. To fix this problem, chlorosis, add elemental sulfur or another material. Your local extension service agent can tell you what to use and how to apply it. Powdery mildew is also a reason for leaves to turn yellow, wither, and drop prematurely. Cut off badly diseased stems and branches or spray with fungicide. Fungicides won't cure this disease, but they can help prevent its spread.

Leaves Turning Black/Brown 

Loropetalum with browning leaves is typically a sign that the plant is not receiving enough water. Brown leaves can also signify root damage or over-fertilization. Additionally, Loropetalum foliage can turn brown from frost exposure. These plants tend to enjoy warmer climates and can only tolerate weather as low as 0°F. 

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