Question: My fringeflowers (Loropetalums) are lanky, and their leaves are pale-colored. What is wrong with them?

Answer: Fringeflowers need acidic soil. You may be seeing iron deficiency, or it could be damage of lace bugs. In the latter case, you’ll see black, waxy specks on the backs of the leaves. Apply an iron/sulfur additive to correct iron deficiency, and apply a systemic insecticide if you need to prevent lace bugs. Lanky growth can be due either to conditions that are too dark or differences in varieties. Many of us have moved away from loropetalums as prime landscaping plants as a result.

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