Shrub of the Week: Loropetalum

20170627_092846Im going to try something different and present a different shrub each week. The first one I’m bringing up is one of my favorites, the Loropetalum. There are several different varieties of this plant, most being a nice purple color when properly maintained (as you can see pictured above and below)

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This plant is not native to North America, and was actually brought over from China and Japan. Its a pretty hardy plant and can survive in temperatures down to 0 degrees fahrenheit without severe damage. In severe heat and dry periods the plant will start to become discolored. In spring is will produce a right pink flower with much thinner leaves. New growth will have a greener color to it, but will turn purple.

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It will do best in full Sun the partial shade. So make sure when planting to keep this in mind in order to ensure the plant stays healthy and full. I’ve witnessed too many times people putting this in areas with too much shade, and the plant eventually thins out and dies. I also recommend checking the pH of the soil before planting. Loropetalums prefer a slightly more acidic soil. If the soil is too alkaline if will become discolored and appear like the picture below. If you notice your plant start to look like this I recommend fertilizing it with 21-0-0. This is an Ammonium Sulfate based fertilized which will help raise the acidity of the soil. We will discuss this more in detail later.

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The most common issue you will find with the Loropetalum will be either micronutrient or copper deficiencies. You want to make sure that your loropetalums have the proper amounts of Copper, Zinc, and Manganese. Copper is the most important of these. If it is lacking Copper I recommend applying a Soluble Copper. You can also try applying Tecmangam, a Manganese Sulfate, to the shrub to improve the color if other options have not worked. Be careful using this product, it will stain very easy. Whatever you decide to use remember, THE LABEL IS THE LAW! Make sure any products your use, you apply at the rates listed on the label of the bottle. I highly recommend contacting your local Lawn Care Professional when having any issues with your shrubs. They will have the proper products and equipment to take care of your lawn and shrub issues.

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