Purple Daydream® LoropetalumLoropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'PIILC-III' (PP# 25,471)
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Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'PIILC-III' (PP# 25,471)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Purple Daydream® Loropetalum is a low, bushy plant that combines vibrant, year-round colored foliage with a stunning spring display of flowers. The evergreen leaves are dark-red to purple all year round, and the rich, deep-pink flowers make a wonderful show. Growing no more than 3 feet tall, this plant is perfect in beds, open woodland gardens, in planter boxes, and as accents anywhere around the garden.
Anywhere from full sun to light full shade will suit the Purple Daydream® Loropetalum. It grows in all the warmer zones from zone 7, and in almost all garden soils, as long as they are well-drained. Richer soils and regular watering will give the best results, but this is an easy plant to grow that will fit into almost any garden with ease. It is free of pests or diseases and needs no special attention at all.
Loropetalum are known for their vibrant pink flowers, which have terrific garden impact. But sometimes you want something more mellow – still rich, but a bit more of a ‘team player’. When that is what you need, the Purple Daydream® Loropetalum has to be your top pick. It flowers profusely, but the color is much darker, a rich dark pink that is warm and bright, but not so loud. These sit among dark purple-red leaves that make a balanced contrast and persist throughout the summer and winter for constant garden color. Using colored foliage in the garden is definitely the way to brighten your outdoor spaces. Foliage is so much more reliable – and lasts so much longer – than relying on blooms for color, so it should be used around your garden. While there are other ways to bring dark red to your garden bed, nothing beats the year-round effect of Loropetalum. This shrub is a lot easier to grow than it looks, and it is a versatile and easy addition to any garden
The Purple Daydream Loropetalum is a broad, low shrub, with naturally-dense branching, forming an attractive mound of foliage all year round. It grows only 2 or 3 feet tall, with a spread of up to 4 feet, and it has a natural rounded form without needing trimming. The oval leaves are just over an inch long, somewhat like the leaves of an evergreen azalea, with a covering of short, soft hairs. New leaves are a rich burgundy red, turning to a more purple-red as they mature. Unlike older varieties, the leaf color is retained all through summer and winter, so this bush is always an effective color accent.
Blooming begins in April, with a big display, and sporadic flowers are formed all through summer and fall, ending only with the first frost in your area. The small flowers are carried in clusters of about 8 blooms, on short stems that grow from the branches where each leaf is attached. The flower has 4 strap-shaped petals, which are twisted as well, giving an exotic and attractive look to this bush. The color is rich and bold – a deep, glowing red-pink, and a plant really is an incredible daydream in red and purple. Insignificant seed pods may develop after the petals fall.
For smaller spaces this plant carries more color-punch than any other plant will do. Plant it in the foreground of larger beds, among flowering shrubs or evergreens. Use it as an accent or specimen, or plant it in groups to cover larger areas. It looks great blended with plants that are silver or blue, as well as with other pinks and purples, and also with cool, acidic yellows. It fits into structured gardens as well as informal ones, and it can be grown with azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias in an open woodland setting.
Anywhere from zone 7 to zones 9 and 10 are perfect for the Purple Daydream Loropetalum, which thrives in warmth, including hot and humid conditions. In colder parts of zone 7 there could be some leaf damage in winter, but new shoots soon fill in and restore the beauty of this plant.
The Purple Daydream Loropetalum grows in a wide range of light conditions. It grows in full sun, partial shade and even in light full shade, such as beneath an open tree canopy. In the hottest zones some afternoon shade is beneficial but avoid dark shade such as areas beneath large evergreens. This bush is very resilient and grows well in almost all soils, as long as they are well-drained. The best growth and blooming is seen in richer, moist soils, so adding organic material when planting, and as mulch every spring, will make a big difference. However, established plants are drought resistant, and this is an easy plant to grow in any garden.
Pests or diseases are almost never problems with this easy-care plant. Some shortening of new growth in summer will keep it extra compact and bushy, but it naturally forms a rounded bush, and detailed care is not needed.
You could find the Chinese fringe flower, Loropetalum chinense, growing in open woodlands across Japan and China, but most of them will have green leaves and white or yellowish flowers. That form has been grown in gardens for years, but mostly by collectors and botanists. It was grown in the USA at least from the 1930s. In China they have known about a form with red spring leaves and pink flowers, called ‘variety rubrum’, for a long time. We can thank the collector and breeder Mark Griffin for bringing some of the earliest forms out of China, and since then these red-leaf forms have become hugely popular. In 2008 Joshua Kardos sowed some seeds from a variety produced by Griffin called Little Rose Dawn (‘GriffCLR’). Kardos was at that time part of the firm Plant Introductions, innovators and breeders directed by Dr. Michael Dirr, a renowned plant authority from the University of Georgia, who had also worked with Mark Griffin. Kardos studied the seedlings he produced from those seeds, and among them he found several valuable new varieties. The one he patented in 2015 with the name`PIILC-III` has unusually dark flower coloring and purple-toned leaves. This is the plant we know today as Purple Daydream®, a name owned by Plant Development Services Inc. a wholesale grower in Alabama.
We love the rich coloring of the Purple Daydream Loropetalum, and we know you will too. The way that these shrubs have taken off with gardeners is remarkable, so our stock is always being sold out very quickly. Order your plants now, because we know they will all be gone very soon.