Sunday, July 19, 2009

Invasion of the Purple Pixies

You heard it here first.  The Purple Pixies are coming!  Just watch how fast this plant takes over the residential and commercial landscape in the next few years!

Photo from Heinz Nurseries

At long last, here is a plant that we will be seeing a lot more of in the future as it will find a spot in almost any garden in Zones 7 to 10! The plant is Loropetalum chinensis ‘Shang-lo’ commonly known as Purple Pixie Loropetalum.

Like other loropetalums, Purple Pixie is evergreen and has beautiful burgundy foliage combined with showy pink blossoms that almost always repeat bloom. Loropetalums do well in both sun and shade, but bloom best with more sun. So far, the loropetalums appear to be resistant to both disease and insect damage. What more could you ask for in a plant? I’ll tell you. Unlike the other Chinese loropetalums, Purple Pixie is dwarf and has a weeping and cascading habit.  This plant grows only one to two feet in height by four to five feet wide! What a great choice for ground covers for sun or container gardening!

PlantofMonth_Jan09_2 With it’s burgandy color and cascading habit, Purple Pixie Loropetalum will make a striking addition to any planter!

The strong points of the loropetalums for me have been their ability to form a dense architectural hedge. Also, their deep burgundy foliage adds year-round color to the garden and contrasts nicely with other evergreens. Their dense foliage also complements other evergreen plants such as boxwoods and hollies. The downside of the plant is that too many landscapers have planted it without paying any regard to the size this plant wants to grow, sometimes as large as 20-feet tall and wide! Because of this, often times these plants are the victim of the wrong plant in the wrong place. For this reason, I have always specified the “Ruby” variety that only grows three to six feet tall and wide.

 Other Loropetalums grow very large – sometimes up to 20-feet!

With Purple Pixie, this will change. Now we’ve got a beautiful dense groundcover for sun that won’t overtake the garden! My prediction is that this plant will catch on like wildfire!

12 comments:

  1. Am I likely to have seen these around Atlanta? Om the garden stores? I can't quite get a bead on it from the pictures.

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  2. Terry, I am sure you have seen loropetalums all over Atlanta, but they are the larger version - big evergreen burgandy shrubs. In time, you will see a lot more of the smaller "Pink Pixie" variety. Lower, creeping ground covers. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. It's in the gardening plan! Available now at more and more places. Hoping to get some in this fall. Great color contrast- am hoping it's as easy peasy as the carpet rose that I've fallen head over heels for.!

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  4. This is a lovely rich colour. I wonder if we have that plant in England I'll have to look it up.
    Adele

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  5. I love it!! But I'm in Zone 4 :-( I wonder if it might be sold as an annual here...

    Kelly @ DesignTies

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  6. sounds like the perfect finale to my plantings by the pool here in Virginia especially blending well with the pink things I have planted. But...and this is a Big But......how will it do in the awful red clay like soil we have? ugh! Thanks so much for visiting the Vintage Nest and entering my give-away. Have a great week! ~ Lynn

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  7. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Margaret

    http://howtomakecompost.info

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  8. can purple pixie grow in las cruces nm. would a half day
    shade be best. thanks Sharon

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    1. Hello Anonymous- the answer is YES! I think Loropetalum C. 'Purple pixie' will grow very well in Las Cruces!

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  9. I have several of these, they only get morning sun. The leaves are now starting to turn a little orange and seem to be falling off. Is this normal to lose some leaves in the fall?

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    1. Thanks for visiting this post. It really depends on where you live and what plant zone you are in. I am in Zone 8 and loropetalums here can take a full day of sun. If the leaves are dropping on your evergreens, possibly are you over-watering? Good luck!

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