Plant of the Week- Fothergilla gardenii Dwarf Fothergilla
What? The savvy gardener that knows this plant would most likely think that it’s star season is fall….and they are right that Fothergilla is a stunning fall foliage plant. But this time of year, don’t miss the unusual, honey scented flowers lighting up the garden.
Fothergilla gardenii is native to the American Southeast. A slow growing deciduous shrub, it likes sun to partial shade. Fothergilla grows to 4′ high and wide and can slowly spread, sending up new shoots from its root system. It is happiest in rich moist soil, even tolerating wet soil. They are particularly happy in our native acidic soils that hold summer moisture. In sandy or sharply drained soil, fothergilla will need some supplemental summer water
The flowers emerge usually in early April (running a little ahead this year), before the textural round leaves appear. This small member of the hazel family is attractive even in winter, with alternate, sinuous branching. In autumn, fothergilla comes into its second season of interest when those leaves turn brilliant shades of orange to scarlet.
Fothergilla doesn’t have any significant pest or disease issues in our climate. Bonus note- most deer do not find Fothergilla especially tasty!