Plant Encyclopedia

Swing Low® Distylium

Distylium 'PIIDIST-VI'

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Swing Low Distylium with green foliage

Discover More Information On Swing Low® Distylium

Swing Low® Disylium is a low-growing evergreen shrub for warm climates that makes a perfect prostrate groundcover. Maturing to only 2-3' tall and spreading to 4-6' wide, Swing Low® has blue-green leaves densely arranged on horizontal branches. Like all First Editions® distylium, Swing Low® is an adaptable plant that can be used in multiple landscape applications as it adapts well to pruning and is disease and insect resistant.

Plant Attributes

The Swing Low® Distylium (Distylium 'PIIDIST-VI') is a versatile and low-maintenance evergreen shrub that has become increasingly popular in the horticultural world. This dense, mounding shrub boasts a number of attractive attributes, making it an ideal choice for a variety of landscaping projects.

One of the most striking features of the Swing Low® Distylium is its compact and spreading growth habit. This shrub typically grows to a height of 2-3 feet and spreads 4-5 feet wide, creating a lush, green carpet effect when planted in mass or as a ground cover. Its fine-textured, glossy, dark green leaves add an appealing touch of elegance to any garden setting. As an added bonus, the foliage remains evergreen throughout the year, providing constant color and interest in the landscape.

The Swing Low® Distylium is also valued for its tolerance to a range of environmental conditions. This hardy plant is highly adaptable and can thrive in both full sun and partial shade, making it suitable for a variety of planting locations. Additionally, it is drought-tolerant once established, and has a strong resistance to pests and diseases, which reduces the need for excessive maintenance or pesticide applications.

During late winter and early spring, this Distylium variety produces an abundance of small, inconspicuous, reddish-maroon flowers that attract pollinators and add a subtle touch of color to the plant. Though not as showy as other flowering shrubs, the Swing Low® Distylium's blooms provide a unique and understated beauty to the landscape.

The Swing Low® Distylium is an excellent choice for use in foundation plantings, mixed borders, and mass plantings, as well as in erosion control and slope stabilization projects. Its attractive appearance, combined with its adaptability and low maintenance requirements, make this evergreen shrub a valuable and reliable addition to any landscape.

Landscape Use

The Swing Low® Distylium offers numerous landscaping uses thanks to its attractive appearance, adaptability, and low-maintenance requirements. Here are some popular ways to incorporate this versatile evergreen shrub into your landscape design:

  1. Foundation Plantings: The compact size and evergreen nature of Swing Low® Distylium make it a perfect choice for planting around the foundation of buildings. Its dense growth habit helps to cover unsightly structures, while its year-round foliage provides a consistent visual appeal.
  2. Mixed Borders: Incorporate Swing Low® Distylium into mixed borders to add texture and year-round color. Its dark green leaves contrast beautifully with the foliage and flowers of other plants, creating an interesting and dynamic display.
  3. Mass Plantings and Ground Cover: The spreading growth habit of Swing Low® Distylium makes it ideal for mass plantings and ground cover applications. When planted in large groups, it creates a lush, green carpet that can suppress weeds and prevent soil erosion.
  4. Erosion Control and Slope Stabilization: Plant Swing Low® Distylium on slopes or embankments to help prevent soil erosion and stabilize the area. Its spreading roots help to hold the soil in place, while its dense foliage slows down water runoff.
  5. Container Gardening: Swing Low® Distylium can also be grown in containers, adding year-round interest to patios, balconies, or other outdoor spaces. Make sure to choose a container with proper drainage and use high-quality potting soil to ensure the plant's health.
  6. Wildlife Gardens: The small, inconspicuous flowers of Swing Low® Distylium attract pollinators, making it a valuable addition to wildlife gardens. Plant it in combination with other pollinator-friendly plants to create a diverse and supportive habitat.
  7. Low Hedges and Garden Borders: Use Swing Low® Distylium to create low, informal hedges or define garden borders. Its dense growth habit and evergreen foliage make it an effective natural barrier that provides privacy and a clear separation between different areas of the garden.

Planting & Care

Planting and caring for Swing Low® Distylium is relatively simple, making it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. Here is some essential information for planting and maintaining this versatile evergreen shrub:

  1. Soil: Swing Low® Distylium prefers well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH (5.5-7.0). However, it is adaptable to various soil types, including clay, loamy, and sandy soils.
  2. Sunlight: This shrub thrives in both full sun and partial shade. Ideally, it should receive at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. If grown in full shade, the plant may become leggy and less dense.
  3. Watering: Water the plant deeply and regularly during the first year to establish a strong root system. Once established, Swing Low® Distylium is drought-tolerant and can survive with less frequent watering. Ensure that the soil doesn't become waterlogged, as this can lead to root rot.
  4. Fertilization: Apply a slow-release, balanced fertilizer in early spring to promote healthy growth and maintain plant vigor. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive growth and reduced hardiness.
  5. Mulching: Apply a 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant to help retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds. Be sure to leave a small gap between the mulch and the stem to prevent moisture-related diseases.
  6. Pruning: Prune Swing Low® Distylium in early spring, before new growth begins. Remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches, and shape the plant as desired. Light pruning can also be done throughout the year to maintain the desired size and shape.
  7. Pest and Disease Control: Swing Low® Distylium is relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for common issues such as aphids, scale insects, and leaf spots. Use appropriate cultural practices and, if necessary, chemical controls to manage these problems.
  8. Plant Spacing: When planting Swing Low® Distylium, allow for 4-5 feet of space between plants to accommodate their mature size and promote healthy air circulation.

Additional Information

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Swing Low® Distylium


Plant Features

  • Height: 2-3'
  • Width: 4-6'
  • Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Hardiness Zone: 7-9
  • Heat Zone: 9
  • Shape: Spreading
  • Flower Color: Dark Red
  • Foliage: Blue

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