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What is a Fringe Flower?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff

A fringe flower, also referred to as a Chinese fringe flower, is a large evergreen plant native to Asia, most notably China and Japan. They are generally referred to as shrubs because of their size and density. Their size is greatly dependent on environment and care, and in optimum growing conditions, they can reach heights of 12 feet (3.6 m) and widths of 5 feet (1.5 m). Many gardeners find them comparable to the witch hazel plant in terms of appearance, with flowers in shades of pink, red, yellow and white.

Many gardeners choose the fringe flower because of the ability to regulate its size and the wide variety of colors. Though they're usually used as shrubs, with regular pruning, the plants can also be grown in pots and beds. When allowed to grow to their maximum height and width, fringe flowers are often used as privacy buffers for porches and patios. The plum delight, which was named for its burgundy leaves and branches, is generally considered one of the more popular types of fringe flowers.

The plants prefer warm climates. With some added protection the elements, however, they can survive in colder regions. Fringe flowers are generally considered easy to grow and do not normally require a great deal of care.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Gardeners suggest that spring or early summer are the best times to plant the fringe flower, because heavy frost can kill a new seedling. Fringe flowers generally need at least partial sunlight to come to full bloom, so it is usually best not to plant them in the shade. To avoid over-crowding, it might be advisable for gardeners to keep in mind the desired width and height of the full-grown plants when choosing planting locations. The plants normally do better in dry, rocky soils.

It takes approximately three years for the fringe flower to grow to maturity. During that period of growth, they should be fertilized once per year and regularly watered. After the plants are fully grown, they usually do not require fertilizing and should be watered only during periods of severe drought. Though the fringe flower is considered resistant to most insects and diseases, it normally is a good idea for gardeners to check new seedlings periodically for signs of infestation or discoloration. Early detection can make problems easier to deal with and might save a new seedling.

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