How to Care for a Purple Hopseed Bush

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The purple hopseed bush (Dodonaea viscosa "Purpurea") is a hardy plant that grows up to 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide. It has bronze-tinged leaves that fade to a dark red-purple shade in autumn. The bush grows quickly and requires little maintenance. It thrives in full sun or partial shade, and fast-draining soil. Its dense foliage makes it a good choice for a screen or hedge planting. Purple hopseed bushes are winter hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, but can grown in planters and moved inside during winter in cooler areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Organic mulch
  • General purpose fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Dig a hole at the selected garden site that is deep enough to plant the purple hopseed bush at the level it grew when purchased and broad enough to hold the roots without constriction. Place the root ball into the hole and cover it with soil. Water the plant until the soil feels moderately moist immediately after planting.

  • Place 3 inches of organic mulch underneath the bush. Keep the mulch approximately 3 inches from the bush's trunk.

  • Water deeply when the top inch of soil dries out during the first growing season. Provide supplemental moisture only when a week or more passes without rain in subsequent seasons.

  • Apply general-purpose fertilizer before new foliage appears in spring.

  • Pruning in spring maintains an attractive form and removes dead and damaged branches.

  • Move container-grown purple hopseed bushes indoors before freezing temperatures arrive in fall. Adding just enough water keeps the foliage from wilting during this period. Move the container back outdoors and resume a normal watering schedule after the spring frost threat passes.

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