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Lorapetalum leaves turning tan colour

turmericturmeric Posts: 820
Morning,  does anyone know what causes Lorapetalum leaves to turn a tan colour.  These seem to be losing the rich maroon colour except on new leaves.  Camellias are flourishing nearby so soil can't be too alkaline.  Soil seems moist, not too wet or too dry.  The plant gets sun all day so perhaps that's too much? The plant only went in in Spring 2018 so it's not old.
Any ideas?
Many thanks.


  • LadyG2LadyG2 Posts: 29
    They do like some shade, so maybe yours is getting too much sun? and they really don't like drying out. 


  • turmericturmeric Posts: 820
    Thanks Louise.  They sound quite temperamental from what I'm reading online.  They seem to not like too much water or not enough, not too much shade but not too much sun, don't mind the soil type but prefer it a bit acidic!  But thanks for your suggestion, I'll check the soil dampness, we haven't had much rain recently.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,568
    I think sun all day probably is too much. They need sun to colour up but too much and it fries. I have one in a pot of ericaceous compost with added leaf mould. It’s a L. Chinensis Black Pearl. Survived some heavy frost, a gorgeous purple, but it only gets a few hours of sun before its shaded by a tall hedge.
  • turmericturmeric Posts: 820
    Thanks Nollie.  It gave a gorgeous purple touch to a small bed and it was the perfect size and the flower colour worked so well.  Now I may have to find a substitute, that won't be easy.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,568
    Maybe consider this Berberis Atropurpureum, gets the full brunt of my Spanish sun. Its slow growing, this one was about 20cm high two years ago and its spread out a bit and about 30cm high now. The new growth is reddish, as shown here, but overall its an attractive dusky purple: 

  • turmericturmeric Posts: 820
    Thanks for the suggeston Nollie but I think Berberis atropurpureum has yellow flowers from memory.  The bed is blue/pink based so yellow flowers won't really work.  Also it has a more rigid shape than the Lorapetalum which is quite loose in habit.  No problem though I'm sure I'll find something.  Many thanks again.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,307
    Cotinus perhaps?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • turmericturmeric Posts: 820
    Would that not get too large Dove?  I have 'Grace' and she's already 1.5x1m.  The space is only about 1m across and I only wanted the plant to be about 60cm high.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,568
    You barely notice the tiny creamy-yellow flowers, but I see what you mean, its going to be tricky to replace the relaxed, elegant form of loropetalum, lots of other purple-leaved shrubs are probably too big or upright. Purple-leaved sedums like Jose Aubergine or Purple Emperor have pink flowers and may give you a similar effect. Anyway, good luck finding a replacement.
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