Itea Virginia Sweetspire

mainegard3(5b-6a)July 6, 2010


I am interested in planting this shrub in dappled shade. I can't seem to find it at Lowes or Home Depot. Is this available closer to fall? How does it size up to summersweet hummingbird which I have?

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ellen_s(z5 centralMA)

Are you hoping to plant the full-size Itea ('Henry's Garnet) or the dwarf cultivar 'Little Henry'? Little Henry probably compares in height to Hummingbird my z5 garden it grows about 3-4' max. Sweetspires do prefer full sun, especially to develop their fiery fall foliage colors. Not sure how well it will perform in dappled shade...

I would try a good plant nursery to buy it - Itea doesn't seem to be a big-box selection just yet...good luck!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 4:23PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I have an Itea in my foundation planting. Like the Clethra Hummingbird, it suckers. My Clethra is planted where the suckering is welcome, but I am planning to move the Itea because of the suckering. The height is just right, about 5-6ft and stays under my front window without pruning. It does flower and there is a nice fragrance though mild most days and it does have fall color, although not the bright red that one of the cultivars gets. It really does seem to manage without much attention and is fairly drought tolerant, mine has no pest problems that I've noticed. but I have mine facing East and it gets about 3-4 hrs of morning sun and it blooms fine.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 5:16PM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

great plant. smart you!smart all of you!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:13AM
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I planted the dwarf variety Little Henry about three years ago and it's done fairly well where it gets more sun. A couple of others are on the east side of the house in front of mature rhodies and they're barely hanging on. They take MUCH longer to leaf out in the spring, are tiny compared to the others, and have never flowered. I guess I need to move them. I don't know whether the problem is less sun or root competition or both, but they're clearly not suited to that particular spot.

Try Stonegate Gardens in Lincoln if you're still having trouble finding them.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 10:02AM
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