UnavailableAvailableOnly few leftOut of StockPre-order
The best new naturalistic, smaller Virginia sweetspire with the flower power you expect from a Love Child.
It flowers heavily in spring for several weeks with beautiful, long racemes of white flowers. Raceme is the botanically correct way of saying in this case, "pendulous, long, bottlebrush-like flowers."
Fall color is consistently red turning burgundy, even in the years when fall color is dull, and stems are burgundy/red in winter, especially in locations where sunlight hits them.
Love Child was selected because it's a foot shorter than Henry's Garnet, at 3-4' tall compared to Henry's 4-5'. I would use it in the exact same ways as Henry's Garnet, but you can rest assured it will be a little more reserved in size.
preference is for moist soils so this is a great plant for low spots, ditches, next to ornamental ponds and bogs, downspouts, and for stabilizing runoff areas.
a native colonizer that will gently fill in an area
pollinator plant, long flowering period, fragrant flowers
Love Child Virginia sweetspire, Virginia-willow
USDA Hardiness Zones
deciduous, flowering shrub
Summer: medium green
Fall: red, burgundy
Fall Leaf Color Quality
Native to USA?
Soil Moisture Requirements
average garden soil, moist, wet, floodplains, temporary standing water (it grows streamside in the wild)
Soil pH Requirements
acid to neutral
sun, part shade, shade
To Make It Thrive
Sweetspires prefer acid soils; avoid high pH (alkaline) conditions or chlorosis and general decline will cause you disappointment. This species prefers moist/wet soils (streamsides are its native habitat), however, Love Child is more drought tolerant than expected - it is commonly planted in neighborhoods with compacted soils and no supplemental water source - in such situations it does okay, but looks tired by the end of summer. It will do better with with supplemental irrigation. In modern landscapes, with these back-filled soils that are low in organic matter, work compost into the soils and your Love Child will be happier. Be especially sure to mulch it to help keep the soil moist. It does love the acidity of our back-filled soils, so you're all set there!
My shrub has turned yellow, what's wrong? Run a soil test and to determine if the soil is too alkaline (high pH). Chlorosis develops in alkaline soils. Correct the pH using an acidifying product from your local garden center. Fertilize it at the same time with a balance fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. This problem can be corrected, but you may want to run a soil test and act accordingly (fertilize) for a few years to keep on top of it. Adding compost will also bring down the pH and the roots will like the additional compost anyway.