Let it Grow: Spring teasers popping up all around us

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Are your Loropetalum blooming? Mine are and it&8217;s because of those spring teasers making my shrubs think, &8220;It&8217;s time!&8221;

Loropetalum chinense is the group of plants that I&8217;m talking about.

Some of the common names are: Chinese Fringe Tree, Rich Man&8217;s Azalea, Burgundy Honeysuckle Bush, Chinese Witchhazel and one that I could never figure out …The Holiday Inn plant.

Maybe it&8217;s because these plants are found under most every Holiday Inn sign in Alabama.

They have alternate leaves that are not directly across from each other.

The leaves range in color from nearly black, greenish, red and or burgundy.

Loropetalum are evergreen (relative to not losing foliage in the colder months) and are hardy from zones 7 through 10 depending on the specific cultivar.

This is one plant that you can definitely expect terms of descriptions to be relative.

For example: The leaves on the Loropetalum Burgundy are not as burgundy as the Chang&8217;s Ruby.

The Pizzazz is considered to be a dwarf and only grows to eight feet tall.

Compared to the Burgundy which grows to 20 feet, I guess that is a dwarf plant.

One that I have especially taken an interest in is the Bill Wallace Loropetalum which was perfected by Tom Dodd in Semmes, Ala.

This one actually cascades downward when planted along retaining walls.

Large wholesale nurseries such as Carolina Nurseries and Tom Dodd Nurseries grow these plants by the tens of thousands, so your retailer and landscape professional will have what you need for your specific application.

Loropetalum are in your favorite independent retail nursery right now and they are probably blooming because of our welcomed spring teasers. For more on these and other gardening tips listen to Home Grown Tomatoes every Saturday morning from 6-8 a.m. on 101.1 FM or log on to www.HGTradio.net.

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