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How to Plant Chinese Fringe Flower? (Complete Growing & Care Tips)

How to Plant Chinese Fringe Flower? (Complete Growing & Care Tips)

Chinese fringe flower (Chinese witch hazel) originated from Himalayas, Japan, and China. Even though this fantastic flower came to the US in 1880, it became known only after the 1980s. Since then, many American gardeners decided to start growing this pink-flowering shrub with unique maroon foliage.

This large evergreen shrub sporadically blooms throughout the year. Pick out the variety you prefer, and I am sure that you will enjoy its elegant, white, pink, or red flowers from early spring. Also, you can choose plants with burgundy, fiery-red, bronze, or olive leaves.

Facts about Chinese Fringe Flower

Facts about Chinese Fringe Flower

Chinese fringe flower is a perennial shrub which grows very fast. Nowadays, you can find different heights of these plants. They can be from 3 to 15 feet (0.9 – 4.6 m) tall, and their width can vary in range from 6 to 10 feet (1.8 – 3 m).

Even though your shrub probably won’t live more than a few decades, it is possible finding even one hundred years old specimens in the native habitat of these fantastic flowers. Believe it or not, some of them are 35 feet (10.7 m) tall.

The original variety of this plant had just white flowers and green foliage, but Japanese nursery successfully bred the first pink-blooming variety and donated it to the US National Arboretum in 1989.

Today, you can find numerous types with pink flowers available, including the bonsai ones. However, they are slightly different than the original plant. It is compact, with rounded, 1 to 2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm) long shiny red, burgundy, or copper foliage.

Beautiful, approximately 1 to 2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm) long flowers have petals that remind me of delicate ribbons. In fact, their name has a root in the Greek word for a ‘strap.’ The probable reason is the appearance of long and thin petals, which look like a fringe.

You will spot the first flowers in March or April, depending on the region you live in. They usually last about two weeks, but many varieties you can find on the market can bloom again throughout the year.

If you find an attractive position for this unique shrub in your garden, it will beautify it in many ways. You can prune it as a shrub, or use it to make an elegant border or hedge. Dwarf cultivars have always been popular. By planting them more closely, you can create unique mass plantings.

The Most Popular Forms of Chinese Fringe Flower

Pink-flowering forms (Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum)

Pink-flowering forms (Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum)

They may have the red, purple, of maroon foliage with fantastic fuchsia, pink, or reddish-pink flowers. Their height and width vary widely depending on the type of this unique shrub.

I prefer the Burgundy variety because its foliage is changing over time, making my garden a kaleidoscope. When young leaves begin developing, it is reddish-purple, but they become purple-green when mature.

White-flowering forms

Chinese Fringe Flower White-flowering forms

There are just three white varieties of Chinese fringe flower:

  • Carolina moonlight– It is 3 to 4 feet (0.9 – 1.2 m) tall, compact shrub with idyllic white flowers blooming from late winter to spring. However, you will enjoy its fabulous blooms from time to time throughout the season.
  • Snow muffin– This dense, roundish, 1 to 3 feet (30.5 – 90 cm) tall shrub is always full of the dark olive-green foliage and romantic blooms throughout winter and spring.
  • Emerald snow– With white flowers and green leaves, these 4 feet (1.2 m) tall shrubs are one of the most romantic plants I have ever seen.


Pink-flowering forms


Flower color Foliage color Height Width
Blush Fuchsia pink


Bronze-red (new)

Olive-green (mature)

8 feet (2.4 m)

8 feet (2.4 m)


Pink Reddish purple (new)

Dark olive green (mature)

6 to 10 feet

(1.8 – 3 m)

6 to 10 feet

(1.8 – 3 m)

Carolina midnight Fuchsia-pink Deep purple 10 to 12 feet

(3 –  m)

8 to 12 feet

(2.4 – 3.6 m)


Bright pink Deep plum 2 to 5 feet

(61 cm – 1.5 m )

3 to 5 feet

(0.9 – 1.5 m)

Darkfire Pink Deep dark purple 5 to 6 feet

(1.5 – 1.8 m)

5 to 6 feet

(1.5 – 1.8 m)

Purple pixie

Vibrant pink Deep purple 1 to 2 feet

(30.5 – 61 cm)

4 to 5 feet

(1.2 – 1.5 m)

Plum delight Dark pink Rose-purple (new)

Bronze-purple (mature)

6 to 8 feet

(1.8 – 2.4 m)

6 to 8 feet

(1.8 – 2.4 m)

Purple daydream

Vibrant pink Dark purple 2 to 3 feet

(61 cm – 0.9 m)

3 to 4 feet

(0.9 – 1.2 m)

Pizazz Plum purple Reddish-purple (new)

Dark purple (mature)

6 to 8 feet

(1.8 – 2.4 m)

6 to 8 feet

(1.8 –  2.4 m)

Ever red

Red Dark burgundy 5 feet (1.5 m) 5 feet (1.5 m)
Ruby Bright pink Reddish-burgundy (new)

Hunter green (mature)

3 to 5 feet

(0.9 – 1.5 m)

3 to 5 feet

(0.9 – 1.5 m)

Red diamond

Vivid red Dark burgundy 6 feet (1.8 m) 6 feet (1.8 m)
Purple diamond Vibrant pink Deep purple 4 to 5 feet

(1.2 – 1.5 m)

4 to 5 feet

(1.2 – 1.5 m )

Zhuzhou fuchsia

Deep pink Blackish maroon 8 to 20 feet

(2.4 – 6 m)

10 to 12 feet

(3 – 3.6 m)


How to Plant Chinese Fringe Flower in Your Garden

Once you decide to grow Chinese fringe flowers, you can find seeds on Amazon, but if you need just a plant or two, purchase a seedling.


Chinese Fringe Flower Sowing

If you want to grow your plant from seeds, you will have a little bit more work. Once the seeds are ripe, put them to a container about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) below the surface of the ground. Water them well, and wait for your new plants to grow up.


Chinese Fringe Flower Seedlings

An ideal moment for planting seedlings is from October to the end of March, but it is essential to avoid frost periods. Wait for the soil to become drier, and dig a hole. It should be three times as wide as the root system of your Chinese fringe flower.

Put the 4 to 6 inches (10 – 15 cm) long seedling in the hole, and add the soil. After abundant watering, place a thick layer of organic mulch on the top.


Chinese Fringe Flower Propagating

If you have already had a shrub of Chinese fringe plant in your garden, you can use 2 inches (5 cm) long cuttings from the mother plant and root them in summer.


It is recommended repotting your Chinese fringe flowers every other year. Take care that the soil is well-drained and adequately moist.

How to Care Chinese Fringe Flower in Your Garden


Chinese Fringe Flower Space

It is an excellent idea to plant Chinese fringe flowers along the edges of driveways or walkways, but they also look lovely as a specimen.

Try to find a location where your plant will be protected from the wind in winter and too hot sun in summer. One more thing! Provide good drainage of the soil by planting your shrub above a wall or on a slight mound, for example.


Chinese fringe flower definitely likes growing in fertile, moist, and well-drained soil, but it can also put up with clay if it is necessary. Actually, every type of ground is tolerable for this plant except too muddy ones.

Even though experts recommend growing this shrub in the acidic soil, most of them will do well in the alkaline ground as well. However, some varieties won’t thrive if the pH is higher than 5.1 to 5.5. As a result, you can experience the occurrence of yellow and malformed foliage, short branches, and a lack of blooms.


Chinese Fringe Flower Light

This elegant shrub requires full sun, but it will do well even in partial shade. It will thrive in your garden, but you can grow it indoors as well. Since your pinkish beauty doesn’t have dormancy period, take care to provide enough light for it, especially in winter.

Grown in the garden, Chinese fringe flower will enjoy full sun, but it would be better to provide partial shade during afternoons. However, be careful when deciding which one variety you want to grow.

Some of them prefer sunlight, and they will show the full color of the foliage and the most vigorous flowers just if they have a necessary amount of light daily.


Chinese Fringe Flower Temperatures 1

Once established, this plant is summer heat and drought tolerant, but it can also survive even low temperatures. However, if you grow a bonsai, you should find a way to protect its roots in fall and winter.


Chinese Fringe Flower Watering

As many other evergreen shrubs, Chinese fringe flower needs enough water for vigorous growth. You shouldn’t allow the soil to become either too dry between watering or to stay consistently soak.

It would be excellent to check out your plant at least twice a day throughout summer and to avoid watering before evening to minimize the level of evaporation.


The best fertilizer for Chinese fringe flowers is slow-release one specially designed for growing rhododendrons and azaleas. It is enough to sprinkle it around the plants’ roots at the beginning of spring when your shrub blooms for the first time in the season. Don’t forget to water your plant right after feeding.

Be prepared that your shrub requires to be fed well. In fact, its requirements in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are incredibly high.

Potassium allows the smooth process of photosynthesizing, nitrogen will speed the growth of your plant and lush leaf development, and phosphorus will help roots to form adequately.

If the shrub doesn’t look healthy and lush enough, look for a user manual directly from the manufacturer to ensure the correct ratio between the necessary nutrients. Also, check if the rain has washed out the fertilizer.


Chinese Fringe Flower Trimming

You should occasionally prune your Chinese fringe flower to keep its size and shape under control. Trim it in spring immediately after blooming to enable lush flowering next spring.

Don’t cut the plant too much because it can compromise its natural look irreparably. Moreover, if you prune it too aggressively, the plant may die back.

Before start working, choose the best form of shrub, which will fit your garden best. You can make a broom, windswept, or cascade, which will transform your yard to the unique and elegant place.

Chinese Fringe Flower Pests and Diseases

This plant is incredibly resistant to most of diseases and pests. However, there are a few severe problems which can affect this evergreen shrub.

Root rot

Chinese Fringe Flower Root rot

It is a pretty usual issue for Chinese fringe flower planted in the inadequately drained ground. Improving drainage may help if you notice a problem on time.


This bacterial disease causes swelling of the stems. The only way to get rid of galls is to cut the affected part a few inches above the swelling and to throw it away.


Chinese Fringe Flower Aphids

These sap-sucking insects infest new plants. Sometimes spraying the foliage with water can solve the issue. If not, rinse your shrub with detergent dissolved in warm water.

Blight (Anthracnose fungus)

Chinese Fringe Flower Blight (Anthracnose fungus)

It is the infection caused by a few types of fungi. You will notice black spots on shoots and the new foliage of your plant after several days of spring rain.

Fortunately, even though this disease can appear from time to time, it is rarely fatal for Chinese fringe flower. Solve the problem by improving drainage and cutting away infected parts of the plant.

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