Loma Vista Nursery News

Our April Pick: Fothergilla

Fothergilla aka “Witch Alder” 

April is upon us. Hopefully you’ve cleaned up your landscape and garden beds by now, but maybe now you’re wondering what you should plant. Well, lucky for you, our team is always ready to send plant recommendations your way.

above: Fothergilla “Mount Airy”

Also known as ‘Witch Alder,’ Fothergilla is our pick for April. Set your landscape apart by planting this underutilized plant. Fothergilla is a great addition to landscapes in zones 5 to 8. It a unique plant with multiple seasons of interest and nice growing habit. Here are some of the top reasons why we think you should plant it.

Why Fothergilla?

1. Early spring bloomer: Fothergilla is perfect for spring interest because it blooms from April to early May. Its white flowers are often referred to as ‘bottle-brushes’ because of their one-of-a-kind shape that add a nice texture to landscapes. Their look is distinct and will be sure to draw attention to your garden or landscape.

above: Fothergilla flowers

2. Great fall color: Not only does Fothergilla have great spring interest, but it also has incredible fall interest. The leaves turn shades of bright to deep reds, oranges, and yellows that easily stand out during the autumn season.

3. Under-utilized: Fothergilla is not a landscape staple (yet) even though it is a native the southeast part of the US, so it provides an excellent opportunity to create a unique landscape or garden. On top of being unique, it is easy to grow, comes in different sizes, and has great interest, so it isn’t a risk to plant it.

above: Fothergilla “Blue Shadow”

4. Deer resistant: Nothing is worse than planting a new shrub only to have it become a snack for deer. Luckily, Fothergilla is not one of those shrubs. It’s deer resistant, so you won’t have to worry about it attracting them.

5. Varieties: If Fothergilla has peaked your interest, it’s good to know that it comes in a few different varieties. The most common ones are Mount Airy, Blue Shadow, Blue Mist, and Gardenii. Mount Airy and Blue Shadow are both full-sized varieties that grow to about five to six feet. Blue shadow has a blue-green leaf leaf rather than its usual standard green. Blue Mist and Gardenii are both drawf varieties that grow to be three feet at most. Blue mist is our personal favorite at the nursery. The dwarf size gives it more use in landscapes and gardens, and the leaves have a nice, blue tint.

above: More Fothergilla flowers

Have Questions About Plants?

We may be a wholesale grower, but our staff are experts in the field. What’s more, is we love helping people learn more and understand more about plants. We grow healthy plants, and we want our plants (and any plants really) to be successful in the landscapes they are planted in.  Feel free to email us at sales@lomavistanursery.com or call us at (785) 229-7200 if you ever have plant-related questions.

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