If you are a gardener, there is nothing more pleasant than some mesmerizing fragrance of flowers that attracts beautiful butterflies to your garden.
One flower that is highly fragrant and will look breathtaking in your garden is Little Henry sweetspire.
Little Henry sweetspire, also known as Virginia Willow or Itea virginica, is a beautiful shrub that has leaves in oval shape, which are dark green in color.
It can tolerate both full sun and partial shade, which is always an excellent liberty for a gardener to have. It can do well in wet soil, which means it is a perfect plant if you live in rainy regions or areas near a pond or a river.
Little Henry sweetspire is a plant that needs minimal care and is perfect for novice gardeners. It will bloom and have a long, healthy life if planted near its good companion plants.
In this article, we will discuss why Little Henry Sweetspire needs companion planting. The right compatible plants for them, their growing requirements, pests, and diseases they may get.
Let us start this article by knowing why Little Henry Sweetspire needs companion plants.
Why Does Little Henry Sweetspire Need Companion Planting?
Little Henry Sweetspire needs good companion plants to be around them as they will promote the plant’s growth and keep it healthy and free from a lot of disease and other growing issues.
For example, if you plant the Little Henry Sweetspire with Rose Mallow, they will grow well as they both have the exact growing requirements and grow well in wet, moist soil.
But if you plant the Little Henry Sweetspire with lavender, which likes dry soil, it will kill the plant, or it will die itself.
Hence, planting the Little Henry Sweetspire with its good companions is extremely crucial for the better growth of the plan as well as the entire garden bed.
5 Best Little Henry Sweetspire Companion Plants
Little Henry Sweetspire is a plant that grows and does well if planted with its good buddies. Let us have a look at some of the good companion plants of Little Henry Sweetspire.
1. Rose Mallow
Hibiscus Moscheutos, commonly known as Rose Mallow, is an excellent neighbor of Little Henry Sweetspire.
Rose mallow produces heart-shaped leaves, which are large in size, and flowers, which are pink and white.
Rose Mallow makes a perfect partner for Little Henry Sweetspire due to its similar growing needs. It needs water to grow well along with moist or wet soil, similar to what Little Henry Sweetspire requires.
Planting them together will ease your caring needs and see a good duo complementing each other well.
2. Carolina Allspice
Another very good companion of Little Henry Sweetspire is an Eastern Sweetshrub popularly known as Carolina Allspice or Calycanthus Floridus.
They produce sweet-smelling flowers, and their leaves slightly change their color during autumn. Little Henry Sweetspire and Carolina Allspice both have their blooming seasons during April and June, which makes them good partners.
When they bloom around the same time, the garden will look beautiful and vibrant. Provide them full sunlight to partial shade with moist soil for healthy and timely growth.
3. Christmas Fern
Little Henry Sweetspire has a very good companion, a Christmas fern. They are a very good ground cover and can grow up to one to two feet tall, similar to Itea virginica. You can plant them together to form mixed borders.
The name Christmas fern is given to this fern because it somehow manages to keep its green color throughout hard winters.
This will help maintain the greenery of your garden when other plants, including Little Henry Sweetspire, will shed their leaves.
Planting them together will give your garden a visual vibrancy throughout the year.
4. Southern Magnolia
Some people prefer to call it Magnolia Grandiflora. Southern magnolia is one of the easy-going companion plants of Little Henry Sweetspire.
Southern magnolia produces one of the most beautiful flowers, with a sizeable white foliage that makes it an eye-catching plant. It can grow up to a hundred feet tall, which is a setback.
Both these plants have the same blooming time, which is from April to June. Little Henry Sweetspire and Southern Magnolia both have almost the same growing requirements, as both these plants need heavy watering to grow well.
5. Blood Sage
If planted together, blood sage and Little Henry Sweetspire will create a majestic visual beauty in the garden.
Blood sage, also known as scarlet sage, is a plant that produces red flowers, and this plant will also add plenty of texture to the garden.
Sage likes full sun just like Little Henry Sweetspire, but does not like too much moisture in its soil, which can be challenging.
If you have a place near Little Henry Sweetspire where there is full sun to partial shade and where there is dry soil, you can plant sage for better growth.
Worst Companion Plants for Little Henry Sweetspire
There are some plants that do well with Little Henry Sweetspire, and there are some plants that should not be planted near it as it may stunt the growth of other plants and itself.
As we now know, Little Henry Sweetspire needs moist soil, mostly wet, to grow healthy and productive. Plants that prefer dryer soil conditions are the worst companion plants.
Plants like lavender, yarrow, and rosemary all like drier soil for healthy growth, and moist soil can cause many diseases and infections in and around the plants, including root rot and powdery mildew spores.
What are Little Henry Sweetspire’s Growing Requirements?
If you want your Little Henry Sweetspire plant to grow well and bloom with plenty of fragrant flowers, then growing it according to its needs is very important.
Below are some basic growing requirements of Little Henry Sweetspire.
1. Light Requirements
Little Henry Sweetspire requires at least six to eight hours of full sun; it can also tolerate partial shade, but the flower’s blooming will be reduced.
2. Soil Requirements
Planting the Little Henry Sweetspire in well-drained soil that remains moist for most of the time is ideal for its growth.
3. Water Requirements
During initial planting days, water Little Henry Sweetspire frequently, and once they get matured and are established, watering them per week around one inch deep is advised. They can get through short periods of heat, but watering them during hot days will keep them good.
4. Fertilizer Requirements
You can provide a measured amount of slow-release fertilizer every year, and it will also work for the growing season.
Grass Diseases and Pests
If you want to keep your good-harvested plant safe from any pests, infestations, or diseases, you should be preventive from day one. Below are some common pests and diseases the Little Henry Sweetspire plant is prone to.
Aphids are one irritating insect that likes to suck sap out of the plants, making them dull and curl. If you see your plant leaves turning yellow or getting distorted, it is a sign that aphids have attacked your plant.
You can eliminate them from your plant by spraying insecticidal soap or by attracting beneficial pollinators like ladybugs, who like to feed on aphids.
2. Sooty Mold
Sooty mold is black in color and is a powdery fungus that is the result of aphids, if there are aphids in your plant, you will get this sooty mold as well. It can cover the leaves of Little Henry sweetspire and reduce their ability to photosynthesize.
Getting rid of aphids will eventually eliminate the sooty mold.
3. Spider Mites
Spider mites are another disturbing insect that loves to feed on the leaves of Little Henry’s sweetspire, causing tiny dots, discoloration, and webbing. They thrive in hot, dry conditions.
Spraying neem oil or insecticidal soap will help in removing spider mites.
4. Leaf Spot
A leaf spot is something you can see through your eyes, it is when leaves of Little Henry sweetspire turn brown or black spots.
Remove affected leaves and provide good air circulation around the plant to control leaf spots.
5. Root Rot
Root rot takes place in poorly drained soil, more so if the shrub’s roots are wet. Various fungi cause it and can lead to wilting, yellowing leaves, and ultimately dying.
The only way to prevent root rot is to provide good drainage so that water does not get logged there and also avoid overwatering.
6. Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that is like a snowy white, powdery substance on the leaves of Little Henry Sweetspire. It can inhibit photosynthesis and affect the plant’s overall health.
Providing the plant with good air circulation and using fungicides can control powdery mildew.
Also, avoid overhead watering to prevent powdery mildew.
Little Henry Sweetspire is one plant that mesmerizes through its fragrance, and if you are planting it in your garden, plant it with its good companion plants like blood sage, rose mallow, or Christmas ferns, which will help it grow and stay healthy.
Also, avoid growing plants like lavender or yarrow that prefer drier soil and may stunt the growth of Little Henry Sweetspire. As mentioned above, plant it according to its growing requirements and take preventive measures to protect it from pests and diseases.