Dwarf Fothergilla Planting Instructions


The Fothergilla gardenia is a dwarf growing deciduous shrub that grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet. The shrub has dark green foliage that changes colors in the fall and produces fragrant white flower blooms that resemble bottle brushes in the spring. Dwarf Fothergilla is native to the Southeastern parts of the United States and is USDA hardy in growing zones 5 through 9. Plant the Fothergilla in soil that is slightly sandy and has well draining characteristics.

Step 1

Choose a planting location that has a well drained soil and full sun or partial shade light conditions.

Step 2

Test the soil with a home soil pH test kit as Fothergilla prefers an acidic soil that is 4.0 to 6.5 on the pH scale. Add ground rock sulfur to the soil to increase the soil acidity. Water the soil after application and let it rest for two weeks prior to planting.

Step 3

Dig a hole that is slightly wider and the same depth as the plant root ball. Add a layer of compost to the hole and set the root ball into it. Fill the hole with a mixture of soil and compost. Gently pack the soil in place as you are adding it to prevent air pockets.

Step 4

Water the soil well after planting. Continue to water the shrub during the growing season to keep the soil moist. Place organic mulch around the shrub to assist with moisture retention.

Step 5

Fertilize the shrub on a yearly basis in the spring with an all-purpose balanced fertilizer.

Step 6

Prune the Fothergilla shrub minimally to prevent a decrease in flowering. Trim the branches only to keep an appealing shape.

Step 7

Propagate Fothergilla by taking softwood cuttings in the summer months. Seeds can be collected once they are produced after flowering and sown in a cold frame in the fall or winter season.

Things You'll Need

  • pH soil test kit
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Water
  • Organic mulch
  • All-purpose balanced fertilizer
  • Hand pruner


  • University of Florida: Fothergilla gardenii Dwarf Fothergilla
  • Ohio State University: Fothergilla gardenia
  • Backyard Gardener: Fothergilla gardenii (Dwarf Fothergilla)
Keywords: planting dwarf fothergilla, growing fothergilla, shrub planting instructions

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.