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Sugar & Spice Foamflower
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Sweet and sassy! Sugar and Spice Foamflower is a charismatic Spirit that will win your heart. You’ll love it for its foliage alone. Its olive-green leaves, glossy and bright and jagged around the edges, are brushed with feathery strokes of chocolate-red. The fine foliage makes Sugar and Spice a superb groundcover or low-growing companion plant in shady gardens. But you’ll also enjoy its delicate flowers. In mid-spring, countless starry white blossoms, pink in bud, make an appearance. They give off a gentle perfume and attract early-season pollinators, too. This one is the whole package. Delightful!
It’s a treat to come across a patch of pretty little Foamflowers in the wild. There are a few different species that call our country home, and they can be found all over the eastern U.S. and in the Pacific Northwest. In spring, they light up the forest floor and shady slopes with their airy bottlebrush flowers. In recent years, hybridizers have made Foamflowers even more endearing by crossing the different species to produce plants with showier flowers and foliage. Sugar and Spice was bred by Dan Heims of Terra Nova Nurseries in Oregon. It was introduced to the public in 2005.
Where winters aren’t too harsh, Foamflower has a pleasing presence throughout the entire year. Evergreen leaves hang on during the cold months. Sugar and Spice’s foliage has the added bonus of a wardrobe change—the red markings on the leaves get bigger and darker when the temperature drops!
How to Grow
Most Foamflowers do best in shade—at least give them shade during the hottest part of the day. Intense sun can scorch the foliage. Plant Sugar and Spice in rich, organic, well-drained soil that is moist but never soggy. Trim off spent flower spikes if you find them unattractive. This plant is evergreen; clean up any winter-damaged foliage in early spring. Black vine weevils can be a problem in some areas. You can control them organically with beneficial nematodes if this is the case, or simply keep your Foamflowers in containers.
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