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Firedance lorapetalum

snowyysnowyy Posts: 57
Hi all, wondered if anyone had any of these or maybe someone who is just knowledgeable about plants could help me understand what I did wrong. I bought two of these evergreen shrubs and planted beginning of April, planted in fresh compost in pots and mulched the tops with slate, ties a couple of supports around the stem as seemed like it need it. The leaves on both went crispy within a month and they have not grown, looking at them now they look dead but maybe I’m wrong. Both did produce a few flowers which made me thought they were doing ok. I read they needed humorous soil on one site but on another well drained. The pots are against the fence and get sun and shade and I’m in the midlands so not too hot. The crispy leaves to me indicate not enough water or too much heat but they had plenty of water and shade, I’ve dug one out to check the roots to see if they were rotten on anything i they just look like they haven’t spread, tried scratching the stem to see if it is still green but it’s not really peeling back.


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,408
    It might be worth emptying the pot out and having a search for vine weevil grubs. 
    I speak as one who is paranoid about the little critters 🙄
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    I'm afraid they are dead. Based on the size in your hand, the shrubs look very young. They need free draining but moist soil in a sunny position. Loam-based compost with multi purpose compost and added grit would be ideal. I suspect your pot is too big for them, you must be careful with drainage. Pot feet raised off the floor or making sure you have large stones/broken crock to line the base of the pot to help the drainage. 

    They are not that hardy and will not do well in an open area. Always place them against a southerly or westerly wall to keep away from drying winds that can scorch their leaves. Slate chips are not ideal for young delicate shrubs. It is also hard to check the soil for dampness. Only useful on older established shrubs/trees.
  • snowyysnowyy Posts: 57
    Thanks for that borderline, yes was a young plant probably 4 months, I half filled the pot with bricked etc and then half filled with multipurpose compost, I put the slate on to stop them drying out and prevent weeds buy yep maybe should of done that once they had established more, pots was placed against a fence in the south east.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    If you are to try again, aim to use a loam-based compost like John Innes No 2 mixed with multi purpose compost and grit. They will not grow well in drying winds either, so best grown in a warm sheltered spot.
  • snowyysnowyy Posts: 57
    If you are to try again, aim to use a loam-based compost like John Innes No 2 mixed with multi purpose compost and grit. They will not grow well in drying winds either, so best grown in a warm sheltered spot.
    Starting again, Emptied my pot and filled with a mixture of John inner no.2 and some aggregate, the bottom of the pot is filled with broken bricks and pot has holes drilled in the bottom (same as last time). New plants potted so hopefully will do better 
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,425
    Loropetalum need a slightly acidic, humus-rich soil that retains moisture. 
    Wonder if JI no 2  with added grit, is the right compost.
    They also need shelter.
    Not completely hardy in UK.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Interesting comments Silversurfer. I had grown them like this before in a container and they seemed to do fine, but again, humus-rich soil is probably always desirable, but being in a container, drainage can be an issue sometimes, so I tend to top-dress with compost to keep the top layer from splashing back up at the plant.

    What they don't like is an exposed site with cold winds. They don't mind a bit of dappled shade. They will not do well in cold areas in the UK. So protection will be needed if there is frost forecast.

    Planting at this time of year, watering is essential. Water in the evenings or early mornings at least every 3 days in the summer easing off as it gets cooler. Generous watering into the base area and not onto the foliage. Good luck with it.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,864
    You need to pot on gradually, use a pot that’s 2” bigger than the one they’re in, when the roots are showing in that one, pot on again. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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