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Purple Hopseed vs. Green Hopseed | Moon Valley Nurseries

Posted by Jason Talmage on 11/18/2020

Hopseed bushes, or Dodonaea, are fast-growing, drought-tolerant, evergreen plants native to the Western US, Hawaii, and Australia. Used most often as privacy screens and space-fillers, Hopseeds thrive best in Hardiness Zones 9-11 and are cold-hardy down to 20 degrees F. These lacy shrubs get their name from the papery, hops-like seed pods that hang onto the branches for a few weeks in late spring, rustling in the breeze before they eventually fall to the ground. Luckily, the seed pods break down quickly in the soil, so no additional care is required to keep your yard tidy.

Hopseeds come in two primary varieties—dark purple and bright green. Both versions have glossy leaves that reach about four inches long and half an inch wide, with lots of small branches that create delicate, lacy foliage. Inconspicuous flowers add to the plant’s beauty every spring. Just be aware that the seed pods litter the ground beneath the shrub before breaking down in the soil, so Hopseeds are not recommended near swimming pools or other places where neatness counts.

Dodonaea can be trimmed as round hedges, flattened into espaliers, or even trained to grow as a tree. They are great for adding layers to a landscape, creating a full, lush feel at the back of a bed, along a fence, or as a border screen. These shrubs also make for an impressive accent when planted alone.

Fast-growing Hopseeds mature at a small- to medium-size. It’s also easy to keep the plants smaller with proper pruning. For the best growth and most vibrant colors, plant Hopseeds in full sun to part shade. They also prefer deep, infrequent watering in well-drained soil. Once established, these desert-dwelling shrubs can survive on rainfall alone.

When planted close together, Hopseed bushes create a thick privacy screen. When planted further apart, the branches of neighboring bushes don’t grow together. Either way, the delicate, lacy foliage combined with drought tolerance and fast-growing characteristics make Hopseeds highly desirable in arid and sub-tropical climates.

But one question remains—should you plant purple Hopseed or green Hopseed? It all comes down to preference.

The unique violet foliage of purple Hopseed makes it highly popular because it’s different from other shrubs. By its very nature, it tends to recede into the background, creating a mysterious, shadowy shape. This could be just the effect you’re going for if you want to create a dramatic backdrop in your garden.

On the other hand, the vibrant foliage of green Hopseed makes it stand out rather than shrink into the shadows. This could be your preference if you want a bright, standalone addition to your yard.

Whether you decide on purple Hopseed or green Hopseed, Moon Valley Nurseries stocks the plants you’re looking for. We offer the best warranty in the industry, including a risk-free, money-back guarantee, so you can begin landscaping your yard with confidence. For more expert advice about choosing the right plants for your yard, please contact us online or visit one of our locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, or Florida today.

Topics: Landscape Tips