What Is Fetterbush – Tips For Growing A Fetterbush Plant


By: Liz Baessler

Fetterbush, also known as Drooping Leucothoe, is an attractive flowering evergreen shrub that is hardy, depending upon the variety, through USDA zones 4 to 8. The bush produces fragrant flowers in the spring and ca sometimes turn beautiful shades of purple and red in the autumn. Keep reading to learn more fetterbush information, such as fetterbush care and tips about growing a fetterbush at home.

Fetterbush Information

What is a fetterbush? There’s more than one species of plant that’s commonly referred to as a fetterbush, and this can lead to some confusion. The best way to distinguish them is to use their scientific Latin names.

One plant that goes by “fetterbush” is Lyonia lucida, a deciduous shrub native to the southern United States. The fetterbush we’re here for today is Leucothoe fontanesiana, sometimes also known as Drooping Leucothoe.

This fetterbush is a broadleaf evergreen native to the mountains of the southeastern United States. It’s a shrub that reaches 3 to 6 feet (.9-1.8 m.) in both height and spread. In the spring it produces racemes of white, fragrant, bell-shaped flowers that droop down. Its foliage is dark green and leathery, and in the autumn it will change color with sufficient sun.

How to Grow Fetterbush Shrubs

Fetterbush care is reasonably simple. The plants are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8. They prefer soil that is moist, cool, and acidic.

They grow best in partial shade, but they can tolerate full sun with extra water. They are evergreen, but they can suffer from winter burn and perform best with some protection from winter winds.

They can be pruned severely in the spring, even all the way to the ground, to encourage new growth. They readily produce suckers, and can spread and take over an area if not occasionally kept in check by pruning.

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Drooping Leucothoe, Fetterbush, Dog Hobble 'Scarletta'

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Leucothoe (loo-KOH-thoh-ee) (Info)
Species: fontanesiana (fon-tay-nee-zee-AH-na) (Info)
Cultivar: Scarletta
Additional cultivar information:(PP5195 aka Zeblid)
Hybridized by Zebahazy
Registered or introduced: 1980

Category:

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

Where to Grow:

Danger:

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:


Plant Finder

Other Names: Doghobble, Dog Hobble

Pretty clusters of urn-shaped white flowers in spring compliment the interesting dark green, shiny foliage the stems have a zigzag pattern best in part-shade

Coast Fetterbush is blanketed in stunning racemes of white flowers along the branches from mid to late spring. It has attractive dark green foliage. The glossy narrow leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding burgundy in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The smooth bark and coppery-bronze branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Coast Fetterbush is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a shapely form and gracefully arching branches. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration

Coast Fetterbush is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Coast Fetterbush will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in partial shade to shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This species is native to parts of North America.

Coast Fetterbush makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.


Plant Finder

Leucothoe keiskei 'Royal Ruby'

Royal Ruby Fetterbush foliage

Royal Ruby Fetterbush foliage

Other Names: Doghobble, Dog Hobble

This compact shrub is grown primarily for its amazing, glossy green and burgundy foliage small clusters of urn-shaped white flowers and arching stems add to its beauty best in part-shade water in extreme heat

Royal Ruby Fetterbush has attractive dark green foliage with red undersides which emerges burgundy in spring. The glossy narrow leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding burgundy in the fall. It is blanketed in stunning racemes of white flowers along the branches in mid summer. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Royal Ruby Fetterbush is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a shapely form and gracefully arching branches. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration

Royal Ruby Fetterbush is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Royal Ruby Fetterbush will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in partial shade to shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Royal Ruby Fetterbush makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.


Watch the video: Which evergreen shrubs can I plant in the shady part of my garden


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