Always check your sprinkler settings based on the season. An inch of rain per week is a common guideline for determining whether your lawn and plants need extra water. Check the South Carolina State Climatology Office for more information on drought conditions.
Chinese Fringe (Loropetalum chinense)
This photo of the rubrum variety was taken on Fort Sumter Dr., Charleston, SC.
While native to China, Japan and the Himalayas, Loropetalum is well-adapted to all regions of South Carolina. Its white flowers are long, thin petals of fringe-like blooms. Other species include the purple-leafed, pink-flowering forms.
Chinese fringe is a fast growing evergreen that quickly reaches 6 to 10 feet tall but left alone it is capable of reaching heights of 35 ft. It grows well in sun or part shade (especially in the afternoon) and is extremely drought tolerant. Loropetalums have few serious pest or disease problems, but root rot can be an issue in poorly drained soils.
The simple, finely toothed to entire (smooth-edged) leaves are 1 to 2½ inches long and arranged alternately on somewhat arching branches. The white to off-white flowers are about one inch long with petals that are 1/16th inch wide.