Native Dwarf Shrub Perfect for Low Maintenance & Fall Colors
Itea Little Henry Sweetspire shrubs are a compact spreading plant, native to the Northeastern United States. Its narrow, rope-like flowers are a sight to behold in spring.
In fall, this shrub displays spectacular reddish-purple foliage. Little Henry Sweet Spire grows low to the ground and makes for an attractive ground cover. It is a delight for the eyes in every season and rivals the burning bush in beauty.
Sweetspire Little Henry Itea is a wonderful option for naturalizing distant areas in a yard, mass planting for erosion control on sloped terrain, or as a low shrub in a woodland garden.
Its native habitat spans from New Jersey to the Carolinas and on through to eastern Texas. It can be grown in both containers and planted directly into the ground. When choosing where to plant Itea virginica 'Little Henry', choose a place that is suitable for natural spread.
The narrow oblong leaves of this deciduous shrub are bright green, spring through summer. By fall, the plant foliage turns to an attractive reddish-purple color. Little Henry Dwarf Sweetspire’s speckled leaves can be a mixture of bright orange, burgundy, or deep purple. These vibrant leaves are held aloft by decorative purple stems. Colors change and evolve from October through December.
Little Henry Virginia Sweetspire is considered to be somewhat evergreen in warmer climates. It will retain most of its color until temperatures plummet below 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tiny white flowers adorn long drooping stems and contrast against deep green leaves by early summer. The fragrant flower clusters hang like graceful ribbons and resemble long white fingers reaching 4 to 6 inches in length.
Flowers are more abundant when the shrub is planted in full sun. Flower clusters last for several weeks. Thereafter, attractive seed heads decorate the shrub through the summer and into early fall.
Little Henry Sweetspire Care Information
Little Henry plants are resistant to pests, deer, and disease. It is also beneficial for local wildlife and attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Sweet Spire Little Henry only grows in USDA hardiness zones 5a through 9b. Little Henry Sweetspire prefers at least 6 hours of full sun, but it can also adapt to life in the shade. For this reason, it does well in woodland gardens.
During the first year, watering should occur regularly. Once established, little Henry is drought tolerant. In extreme heat though, this shrub should be watered regularly.
This shrub prefers moist, rich soil but can adapt to most soil types. In nature, little Henry bushes can thrive in swamps, wetlands, marshy woodlands, and even along riverbanks. Fertilize with tree and shrub food as needed, preferably in spring.
Little Henry Sweetspire Size
Virginia Sweetspire Little Henry grows to be 2 to 4 feet tall and wide. It grows at a moderate to fast speed, depending upon soil moisture. It tends to cling closely to the ground and grows densely. It has a 40-year lifespan.
Little Henry Sweetspire Pruning
Flowers do tend to grow on the old wood of the previous year. Regular pruning should be performed after flowering. In this way, the grower will avoid removing flowering branches. Little Henry shrubs do tend to sucker and spread. Pruning can be performed as needed to reduce undesired spread. Propagation is easily accomplished with cuttings or via the natural spread.
Consider Adding Little Henry Sweetspire to Your Garden
Little Henry Sweetspire is a delightful shrub that is sure to dazzle the senses throughout all seasons. Bring warm red color to your fall landscape and eye-catching flowers in spring. Little Henry is a no fuss, easy to care for, and perfect for your garden.
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Full Sun / Partial Shade
Growing Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9