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Will you be adding plants to your garden this year?

List the attributes a plant must have if it is to be planted in your garden.

  • Year round interest or appeal
  • Hardy, not too easily damaged, not susceptible to insect or disease pests
  • Blends well, and complements other plants in the design
  • Native to Southeastern U.S.
If you are looking for such an addition to your home landscape, consider Itea virginica, also known as Virginia sweetspire. Year round interest or appeal is achieved with
  • White flowers in spring
  • Lovely green foliage, on graceful arching stems
  • Vibrant fall color!!

Here are a few descriptions of Itea virginica found online.
→   A useful native plant with lots of potential for the home landscape. It prefers moist soils and will tolerate wet conditions. It will grow in full sun to full shade, and requires little pruning or other maintenance.
→   With its slender arching branches and showy clusters of white flowers, Itea is one of our most attractive native shrubs. It can be grown in partial shade and in places that are too wet for most shrubs, but it also can be used in normal garden soils. Once established, sweetspire will do nicely in dry soils, but you must water it frequently for its first.
→   ‘Henry’s Garnet’ Virginia sweetspire is a very dependable, showy plant. It is an arching, 3- to 5-foot-tall shrub that holds its leaves well into fall, allowing the maroon, yellow, and orange tones to develop and reveal themselves over time.

Note which variety best suits your landscape needs: ‘Henry’s Garnet’ is mid-sized, ‘Little Henry’ is more dwarf. Although Itea can tolerate a wide variety of conditions, growth habit will change according to the soil, moisture and sunlight the plants receive.
Consider sweetspire, Itea virginica, when adding plants to your home landscape!

New Location for 2018

The 2018 symposium will be held at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture, formerly known as the Agrirama. The address is 1392 Whiddon Mill Road, Tifton, GA 31793. Exit I-75 at Exit 63B. Please see the directions page for maps of the area.


Take a look around your community. Is there a place where native plants make up most of the landscape? A landscape designed to showcase native plant species. Please tell us about it! The Native Landscape Award is presented to a business or organization that has been intentional about creating and maintaining a beautiful landscape of native, or nearly all native, plants.

Or, if you know of a landscape designer or landscape company committed to including native plants, in the proper place, we would like to hear about them.

  • So take a look around, and find someone “doing natives right!”
  • Go to the awards nomination page and share that information with us.
Thank you!

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