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Itea Little Henry®
ENLARGE IMAGE Multi-season beauty!

Itea Little Henry®

The original dwarf sweetspire.
ZONE 5,6,7,8,9
As low as $14.99
  • Fragrant white flowers in early summer attract pollinators
  • Glorious, glowing fall color
  • Handsome glossy foliage
  • Grows in shade and wet soil
  • Very heat tolerant native shrub
  • Ship size: Starter Quart
  • View all TREES & SHRUBS
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Itea Little Henry® Description

Little Henry® sweetspire (Itea virginica) was one of the very first Proven Winners shrubs – and its popularity shows no signs of abating. It’s no wonder: this very handsome native shrub has glossy, leathery foliage all season, and elegant white flower spikes in early summer. They give off a sweet-spicy fragrance you’ll look forward to every year. But the show doesn’t stop there. Come autumn, the foliage turns a dazzling array of red and burgundy, creating a carpet of color.

Little Henry is a dwarf version of our native sweetspire, growing shorter and more compact than wild types. It should be given plenty of room, however, as once it is established in proper conditions, it spreads to form a lush colony. It’s one of the best flowering shrubs for shade! Grows well in wet soils, too.

Special features: Native plant, Fragrant, Attracts pollinators, Fall color

Quick Facts

  • Botanical name: Itea virginica 'Sprich'
  • Common name:
    Sweetspire, Virginia sweetspire, Itea
  • Zone:
  • Sun exposure:
    Full sun (min. 6 hrs/day) to part shade (4-6 hrs/day). Can take full shade, but flowering and fall color will be diminished.
  • Delivery:
    See schedule
  • Ship form:
    Starter quart
  • Soil type:
    Grows in average to wet soil./
  • Soil moisture:
    Average to abundant.
  • Height x width:
    2-3' tall and wide
  • Flower color:
  • Foliage color:
  • Season of interest:
    Early summer to autumn
  • Uses:
    Hedge, Native plant gardens, Wildlife gardens, Ground cover
  • Cannot ship to:
    AK, HI
  • Patent:USPP 10,988



Soil:  Moist but well-drained soils are best. Established sweetspire can take some dryness. Standing water or very wet soil is ok.  
Light: Full sun (6+ hrs/day) to part shade (4-6 hrs/day). Can grow in full shade, but flowering will be diminished, and fall color will not be as vivid.
Water:  Average to abundant.
Space:  Plant at least 3' apart.
Fertilizing:  Little needed. If desired, fertilize in early spring, once the ground has thawed, with a granular rose fertilizer. A second application may be made in late spring/early summer as well.
Winterizing:  Nothing special required, aside from a good 2-3" layer of mulch. Mulch is especially important in zones 5 and 6. br /> Maintenance:  Blooms on old wood, so should only be pruned after bloom. Dead wood can be removed in spring, once new growth has begun to emerge and it's clear where any dieback may have occurred.