Here's Where You Should Plant Chinese Fringe Flowers For Beautiful Blooms

Chinese fringe flowers (Loropetalum chinense) — also called Chinese fringe bush or Chinese witch hazel — boast some of the most beautiful blooms available for gardeners, with fringed, confetti-like bursts of color. Although originally from China, Japan, and the Himalayas, these shrubs can thrive in warmer areas of the US and are not considered invasive. When deciding whether these unique, vibrant blooms are right for your garden, climate is key: the recommended growing conditions for Chinese fringe flowers are USDA hardiness zones 7 to 10a, which encompass the West coast, southern and southeastern regions, and portions of the East coast of the US.

If you're located within the ideal temperature range for Chinese fringe flowers, there are a few additional considerations to make when choosing a spot for these plants in your garden or yard. Perhaps most important is sun exposure: Chinese fringe flowers bloom best with 4 to 6 hours of sun exposure per day, although they can benefit from partial shade in the afternoon in particularly hot areas. Although the foliage of Chinese fringe flowers is beautiful in its own right, their spectacular blooms are a must-see, so careful planning for the variety and care regime of your Chinese fringe flowers is key.

Varieties of Chinese fringe flowers

Once you've located the perfect sunny spot for fringe flowers, consider exactly how you'd like to utilize them within your garden. Chinese fringe flowers are extremely versatile, and can be used as a privacy hedge, providing ground cover for hydrangeas, or adding color to your landscape. Most gardeners prune their Chinese fringe flowers to a manageable height for container, border, or hedge gardening, but since this shrub can grow 6 to 15 feet tall, it may make sense to look for dwarf varieties of fringe flowers if you wish to control the height of your plants without pruning. Dwarf varieties of fringe flower (such as Jazz Hands White, Jazz Hands Pink, or Purple Pixie) may be best for ground cover purposes, while larger cultivars (such as Jazz Hands Bold or Ever Red) will better suit privacy hedges.

Placement of your fringe flowers will likely vary based on other plants in your garden and how they might complement (or clash with) them. Though all Chinese fringe flowers are part of the Loropetalum chinense family, and all are perennial, evergreen shrubs, there is a considerable variety of flower and foliage colors. Varieties with white flowers and green foliage include Emerald Snow, Snow Muffin, and Jazz Hands White, but if you're looking for dramatic color, Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum is the category to look for. This variety has dark purple leaves and bright pink or purple flowers, creating a stunning visual effect in any garden landscape.

Caring for your Chinese fringe flowers

As mentioned, the key to ensuring your Chinese fringe flowers yield the maximum number of blooms is locating them in an area that receives plenty of direct sunlight. But there are a few other critical tips for caring for your Chinese fringe flowers and keeping them healthy outside of their springtime blooming window alone. In general, Chinese fringe flowers are pretty low-maintenance in the correct USDA hardiness zones. Once established, they are drought tolerant and require little additional fertilizer. Still, they may benefit from a slow-release tree/shrub fertilizer during their spring growth window. They prefer well-draining acidic soil and can be pruned and propagated after flowering in the spring. 

Most plants in this genus have few, if any, problems with pests or disease besides olive gall — although one cultivar in particular, Ruby, is more susceptible to copper nutrient deficiencies than others. Overall, Chinese fringe flowers require little special treatment in a home garden despite yielding some of the most colorful, fantastic blooms on the market.