A versatile shrub that tolerates sun or shade and a variety of soil conditions. It can be used as a specimen or grouped in shrub borders, open woodland gardens, foundations or hedges. If planted in mass, it makes a shrubby ground cover. Also a good selection for wet locations.
Slightly fragrant flowers attract butterflies and other insects. Seeds eaten by songbirds and the plant is deer resistant
Virginia Sweetspire needs little pruning but wayward stems can be removed at any time. Since the flowers are produced on last year’s growth, trimming is best done after flowering. The mother plant may produce shoots from the root system that may develop into a colony of slender stems over time.
Virginia sweetspire is easy to propagate by stem cuttings, taken between May and September, which will root in about four weeks. Autumn is the best time to start a new plant by root division. Simply snip one of the suckered roots free of the mother plant.
‘Henry’s Garnet’ – Award-winning, 4′-6′ tall & wide, adaptable to colder climates, white flowers 6″ long, fall color rich red-purple which persist until temperatures below 15 to 20°F. It grows 4 to 5 feet high and about 4 to 6 feet wide.
‘Long Spire’ – 8″ flower, poorer fall color than ‘Henry’s Garnet’.
‘Merlot’ – dwarf, 3 to 4 feet tall and wide, wine red fall color persist well into winter, hardy to Zone 5.
‘Sarah Eve’ – pinkish flowers, Fall color is relatively poor, less hardy
‘Sprich’ (Little Henry) – dwarf form of ‘Henry’s Garnet’, 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, 3- to 4-inch flower, fall foliage orange and red.
Virginia Sweetspire – Maryland Extension Home & Garden Information Center
Virginia Sweetspire – USDA Plant Fact Sheet
Virginia Sweetspire – Missouri Botanical Garden
Virginia Sweetspire – University of Connecticut Plant Database
Recommended for Wildlife by
Bringing Nature Home by Tallamy
Essential Native Trees and Shrubs for the Eastern United States by Dove & Woolridge