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Virginia Sweetspire

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 6:00am

Dr.Gary Bachman:

Virginia sweetspire is versatile, beautiful, and low-maintenance today on Southern Gardening.

Announcer:

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Dr.Gary Bachman:

Virginia sweetspire may be perfect for the shrub border or woodland setting. In fact, it was selected as a Mississippi Medallion winner for 2011. Virginia sweetspire is known botanically as Itea virginica. This Mississippi native shrub is erect and densely branched when grown in the full sun and will grow from three to four feet tall and four to six feet wide. Prune only to keep the plant neat and tidy. Plant in shrub borders or foundation plantings as the foliage will form a dense barrier.

The foliage is dark green and changes to a brilliant red fall color. In the coastal counties, Virginia sweetspire will hold on to its gorgeous red foliage well into the winter months depending on frosts and freezes. The flowers are produced in groups of grouping spikes up to six inches long. There are no serious pests or diseases which makes Virginia sweetspire a wonderful low-maintenance plant.

Also, this is a good choice for deer proofing your landscape if they are a problem. Virginia sweetspire is tolerant of wet soil, but you should always plant in the landscape in amended soil with good drainage for optimum growth. Fertilize using a slow release product, formulated for trees and shrubs in both the spring and the fall. Virginia sweetspire is a good choice for naturalizing and transplants well. This plant can have a clumping growth habit and suckers from the roots.

I'm horticulturist, Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

Announcer:

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

 

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