Audubon® Virginia Sweetspire
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Sprummer! That glorious time of year that bridges spring and summer. The birds are singing and the weather is warm—it has not yet become oppressively hot. Now is the time to spend lazy hours outside, soaking it all in. Pull up a lawn chair next to your Virginia Sweetspire then! Late May and early June is when it churns out its fragrant, pendulous spires of starry white blossoms, which attract butterflies in droves. Plant this easygoing Accent en masse in your wildlife-friendly garden, where it will nourish native pollinators in sprummer and beautify the landscape all year long.
May Benefit & Attract: cardinals & grosbeaks, wrens, sparrows, thrushes, orioles, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, vireos
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
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Recommended by Our Growers
Virginia Sweetspire is a part of our natural heritage, a charming Accent that’s native throughout most of the southeastern states and extending into Pennsylvania. Despite the fact that it is native here, however, the plant went virtually unnoticed by gardeners for ages. It was only in the 1980s that Virginia Sweetspire started to show up in garden centers. The reason it was overlooked for so long was because in the wild it can be a rather rangy shrub. Given a little love, it becomes a fine, floriferous Accent that you will be proud to have in your garden.
Virginia Sweetspire does not only shine in summer, but in fall as well! For two full months—weather permitting—the leaves transform from bright green to burgundy and red tones, often with splashes of gold and orange thrown in. In very mild climates, some red leaves may hang on well into winter.
How to Grow
In the wild, Virginia Sweetspire grows in wet woods, where it may get ungainly as it reaches toward the light. In the landscape, you can encourage neater, more compact growth by planting it in full sun or light shade. Soggy soil is great, but not a necessity; Virginia Sweetspire is surprisingly drought tolerant. Overall, this is an easy, worry-free shrub. In recent years, it has been planted along highways and in medians with success, despite receiving very little attention in those situations. This plant spreads by suckers to make a slowly expanding patch, but it is not overly aggressive in its growth.
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