With its attractive foliage and intriguing flowers, Plum Gorgeous is the perfect name for this plant, says Judith Sleijpen.
The Fringe Flower (Loropetalum chinense ‘Plum Gorgeous’) is a hardy, evergreen shrub reaching about 1.5 metres in height and spreading up to 2 metres wide. It is naturally dense and forms an attractive dome shape.
Throughout the year it displays attractive, deep purple foliage and in spring is covered in vivid, deep raspberry coloured, tasseled flowers.
It makes a stunning feature specimen shrub in any landscape, providing both structure and colour year round. Mass planted in large areas, it creates a striking informal hedge.
Plum Gorgeous prefers a sunny spot in organic-enriched, well-draining soil. Once established, it is drought tolerant, only requiring the occasion soak during extended periods of heat.
No pruning is generally required other than shaping to style but a light trim after flowering helps to maintain a neat, compact shape. To encourage vigorous growth, simply apply a slow release fertilizer after flowering.
Top Gardening Tips for November
• Grow your own vegetables. Plant sweet corn, squash, zucchinis, beans, spinach, cucumbers and chillies. Condition the soil with some compost or organic matter before planting. Apply a soluble fertiliser containing a high level of potassium to established tomato plants to encourage fruiting.
• Watch for aphids and other insects that are more prevalent in warmer weather. You’ll usually find them in clusters on plant tips and buds. Squash them with your fingers (wearing garden gloves), hose them off with a strong jet of water or apply some horticultural oil, as directed.
• Brighten up your entertaining area with pots of summer flowering annuals. Plant seedlings of petunias, salvias, marigolds or zinnias and you’ll have a colourful display in time for the Christmas festive season.
• Raise the height of the mower blades and allow the grass to grow a little longer. The grass blades shade the root system to help the lawn withstand intense, summer heat.
Judith Sleijpen is an experienced horticulturist, columnist and garden designer advising clients on all aspects of their gardens. For more information phone 9907 6460.