Dwarf fothergilla is a small, multi-season shrub with white, bottlebrush-like flowers in spring, blue-green leaves in summer turning a kaleidoscope of color in autumn.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- North America
- Mixed border,
- Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Alkaline soil
- Spring blossoms,
- Fall color,
- Fragrant flowers,
- Showy flowers,
- Attractive bark
Season of Interest:
- Early spring,
- Mid spring,
- Late spring,
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Form
2 to 3 feet high and wide; mounded form.
Tree & Plant Care
Best in part shade but will grow in full sun with adequate moisture.
Prefers slightly acidic soil pH with plenty of added organic matter.
Shallow-rooted and benefits with a layer of mulch to moderate soil temperatures and conserve moisture.
Water in dry periods.
Plants should be pruned after flowering if needed.
Best flowering and fall color occurs in full sun.
Disease, pests, and problems
No serious pests.
Plants can become chlorotic (yellow leaves) in high pH soils.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to eastern United States, primarily coastal regions of North and South Carolina.
Bark color and texture
Bark is light brown.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, alternate leaves; blue-green; oblong with rounded teeth; 1 to 3 inches long.
Fall color is a mix of yellow, orange and red.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Fragrant white bottlebrush-like flowers in 1 to 2 inch long clusters.
Flowers in early spring usually before leaves emerge.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Small, dried capsule; not ornamentally important.
Jane Platt Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii 'Jane Platt'): Cascading branches, narrow leaves, yellow read fall color.
Suzanne Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii 'Suzanne'): Compact, 2-3 feet high, orange-red fall color
Blue Mist fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii 'Blue Mist'): A dense, mounded shrub reaching 2-3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. Outstanding blue-green foliage.
Blue Shadow fothergilla (Fothergilla x intermedia 'Blue Shadow'): A sport of Mt Airy, blue green foliage, rounded habit 5 to 6 feet high, orange-red-yellow fall color.
Mount Airy fothergilla (Fothergilla x intermedia 'Mount Airy'): Fothergilla x intermedia is a hybrid of dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii) and large fothergilla (Fothergilla major). 'Mount Airy' is a cultivar of this hybrid. It grows 5 to 6 feet high with an upright form. Leaves are dark blue-green, changing to a mix of yellow, red and orange for fall. It flowers well and is very cold hardy.
Red Monarch™ fothergilla (Fothergilla x intermedia 'KLMfifteen'): Upright habit, 6 to 8 foot high and 4 to 6 feet wide, yellow-orange-red fall color
Windy City fothergilla (Fothergilla x intermedia 'Windy City'): 3 to 4 feet high and wide, upright form, outstanding fall color.