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Ruby Loropetalum, sometimes called the Chinese Fringe Flower, is a versatile shrub that is a member of the witch hazel family. This shrub is the smallest variety of Loropetalum, growing 3 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide, making it a wonderful shrub to put along a foundation or in a smaller landscape area.

This evergreen shrub has fragrant, spider-like pink flowers in the spring and has a blend of green and purple foliage. Usually the green is older foliage and the purple is newer foliage. If you let this plant go uncut for an extended period of time, it will hold more of a green overall color. Give it a light cut and watch the purple foliage return. Ruby Loropetalum is a low maintenance shrub that prefers full sun but can live in partly shaded areas and thrives in humus-rich soil that is well drained. This shrub is drought resistant, deer resistant and can tolerate a wide range of conditions.

How to Plant the Ruby Loropetalum: Dig a hole about three times the diameter of the root ball, but only as deep as the root ball. This allows easier root growth into the surrounding loose soil. Hit the sides of the container with a shovel to dislodge the soil and roots.

Or carefully cut the down the sides of the container. Check for circling roots and cut or remove them. Place the shrub in the hole. If the shrub is planted too deeply, new roots may have difficulty developing because of a lack of oxygen. Fill about one-third full with soil and pack it around the base of the root ball.

Add more soil and settle. You can use water to help eliminate air pockets that can cause roots to dry out. Step lightly on the soil in the hole to eliminate air pockets. Add a 2- to 4-inch layer of shredded bark, peat moss, composted wood chips, leaf litter or pine straw. Soil should be moist, but not soaked. Water at least once a week, barring rain; more often in hot weather.