Loropetalum

Q: My neighbor has a variety of loropetalum in her yard that is very dark purple and stays that way all year. It is not that dull green color that sometimes looks purple. It is very low and bushy. Can you identify it?

A: There seems to be a great deal of difference in mature size between the various purple-leafed loropetalums. I have seen them in hedges ten feet high but I myself have a couple of plants that have seemingly matured at only four feet tall. ‘Burgundy’, ‘Blush’ and ‘Zhuzhou Fuchsia’ seem to be the biggest of the lot. ‘Ruby’, ‘Plum Delight’ and ‘Sizzlin Pink’ seem to be more compact. All three of the smaller forms keep their purple leaf color better than the larger selections.

If you buy a loropetalum that grows too large for its space, pruning is problem-free. Try to make your cuts at the point where a “too tall” branch joins a more horizontal one. This will lead to a more compact plant – but you still may find it helpful to hang a pair of clippers to a limb and prune the loropetalum whenever you walk past!

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