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My AMERICAN BEAUTIES NATIVE PLANT pick for May is … ITEA virginica ‘HENRY’S GARNET’. You may know this plant by its common name – VIRGINIA SWEETSPIRE.
Are you familiar with the American Beauties Native Plants? We have been carrying this line of plants for a few years now. Each year the plants become more and more popular as people become more aware of the need to plant natives to support all our pollinators. And, people are coming to realize that native plants require less maintenance.
A little history on American Beauties Native Plants: This program of plants was started more than a decade ago. The goal was to spread awareness of the benefits of native plants and popularize the category to bolster the environment. The founders knew that garden centers were selling native plants throughout the country, but no one was telling the story of natives in a compelling way. This line of native plants is very recognizable in their light, lime green pots that are well labeled. The labels are full of information.
Now, on to Virginia Sweetspire. I love this shrub. Sweetspire is a perfect shrub. It is native, deer resistant, and drought tolerant, a source of nectar for pollinators, and low maintenance. And, it has more than one attractive season. As a matter of fact, it has three seasons of interest. In late spring it is covered in a blanket of 6” long white sweetly scented “spires” (long white flowers) that last for several weeks. Then in the summer the foliage is spectacular. By fall, the leaves change from green to deep red, purple, orange, and yellow. Whew!!
Virginia sweetspire is a mounding, thickly branched, deciduous shrub with graceful arching branches. It provides nesting and shelter for wildlife as well as food for bees, butterflies, and moths. Sweetspire likes to be planted in sun to part shade. Also, it prefers moist, rich, slightly acidic composted soil. Sweetspire will eventually grow to be 3 to 4 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. So, choose your location carefully knowing these dimensions. One thing that I will stress is to let it grow naturally and not to do any pruning.
I am very excited about this program. I love all the native plants. It was hard to just select one plant to highlight. So, don’t be too surprised if I decide to highlight another native plant.
Come see us and let us show you the AMERICAN BEAUTIES NATIVE PLANTS.
PLANT A LITTLE HAPPINESS!!!!!!!!!