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The Cinnamon Girl® Distylium (Distylium 'PIIDIST-V') is a versatile and attractive evergreen shrub prized for its striking foliage, compact growth habit, and year-round appeal. Belonging to the witch-hazel family (Hamamelidaceae), this hardy plant has been specially bred for improved cold tolerance and disease resistance, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of landscapes.
One of the most notable attributes of the Cinnamon Girl® Distylium is its distinctive foliage. The leaves are small to medium in size, with a unique elliptical shape and a glossy, dark green hue. In colder months, the leaves take on an alluring burgundy tint, lending an added touch of warmth and color to the garden. This feature makes the Cinnamon Girl® an excellent choice for those seeking year-round visual interest in their landscapes.
This compact shrub typically grows to a height of 3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters) and spreads about 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters) wide. Its dense, branching habit creates a lush, full appearance that is well-suited for use as a foundation plant, low hedge, or mass planting. The Cinnamon Girl® Distylium is also tolerant of various soil types, thriving in well-draining, acidic to slightly alkaline soils. It performs best in USDA hardiness zones 7-9, making it suitable for a wide range of climates.
Another appealing aspect of the Cinnamon Girl® Distylium is its low maintenance requirements. This shrub is relatively drought-tolerant once established, requiring only moderate watering. Additionally, it boasts a strong resistance to common diseases and pests, such as leaf spot and blight, reducing the need for chemical treatments. Occasional pruning will help maintain the desired shape and size, but overall, the Cinnamon Girl® Distylium is a relatively carefree plant.
The Cinnamon Girl® Distylium is a versatile plant that can be incorporated into various landscaping designs due to its compact growth habit, attractive foliage, and year-round interest. Here are some popular landscaping uses for this evergreen shrub:
- Foundation Planting: The Cinnamon Girl® Distylium is an excellent choice for foundation plantings around buildings, where it can help soften the transition between the structure and the landscape. Its compact size and dense growth habit make it ideal for providing year-round coverage.
- Low Hedges and Borders: This shrub's dense branching structure and manageable size make it suitable for creating low hedges or borders along walkways, driveways, or property lines. Its year-round visual interest and low maintenance requirements make it an appealing option for these applications.
- Mass Plantings: The Cinnamon Girl® Distylium can be used for mass plantings in larger landscape areas, creating a lush, cohesive ground cover. The shrub's eye-catching foliage and uniform growth habit create a visually appealing effect when planted in groups.
- Mixed Shrub Borders: This evergreen can be combined with other shrubs and perennials in mixed borders to provide contrast and year-round interest. The Cinnamon Girl® Distylium's unique foliage color and texture can add depth and variety to any garden composition.
- Container Plantings: Due to its manageable size, the Cinnamon Girl® Distylium can be grown in containers and used to decorate patios, decks, or balconies. This is an especially useful option for those with limited space or who wish to add a touch of greenery to urban environments.
- Erosion Control: The Cinnamon Girl® Distylium's dense root system can help stabilize soil on slopes or embankments, making it an effective choice for erosion control in landscape designs.
- Wildlife Habitat: While not a primary source of food for wildlife, the dense foliage of the Cinnamon Girl® Distylium can provide valuable shelter and cover for small birds and other creatures seeking refuge in the garden.
Planting and caring for a Cinnamon Girl® Distylium is relatively straightforward, thanks to its hardy nature and low maintenance requirements. Here are some guidelines to help you establish and maintain a healthy, thriving plant:
- Plant Selection: Choose a healthy, well-established plant from a reputable nursery. Ensure the plant has a strong root system and shows no signs of disease or pest infestation.
- Site Selection: The Cinnamon Girl® Distylium prefers full sun to partial shade. Choose a location that receives at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Good air circulation is also essential for maintaining plant health and preventing diseases.
- Soil Preparation: This shrub thrives in well-draining, acidic to slightly alkaline soil. Before planting, amend the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve its structure and fertility. Ensure the planting area has adequate drainage to prevent root rot.
- Planting: Dig a hole approximately twice the width of the root ball and slightly deeper. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Backfill the hole with the amended soil, gently tamping it down to remove air pockets. Water thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots.
- Watering: Water the plant regularly during the first year to ensure proper establishment. Once established, the Cinnamon Girl® Distylium is relatively drought-tolerant and requires only moderate watering. Adjust your watering schedule based on local climate, soil conditions, and rainfall.
- Fertilization: Apply a slow-release, balanced fertilizer in early spring to promote healthy growth. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application rates and methods. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive growth and reduced cold tolerance.
- Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or pine needles, around the base of the plant to help conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Keep the mulch at least a few inches away from the stem to prevent rot and pest issues.
- Pruning: Prune the Cinnamon Girl® Distylium in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Remove any dead, diseased, or crossing branches to maintain good air circulation and shape. Regular pruning will also help keep the plant compact and encourage denser foliage.
- Pest and Disease Management: The Cinnamon Girl® Distylium is relatively resistant to common pests and diseases. Monitor your plant regularly for signs of trouble, such as leaf spots or wilting, and address any issues promptly. Maintain good cultural practices, such as proper watering and pruning, to minimize the risk of problems.
- Height: 2-3'
- Width: 3-4'
- Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade
- Hardiness Zone: 7-9
- Heat Zone: 9
- Shape: Rounded to spreading
- Flower Color: Red
- Foliage: Blue
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