Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Height: 2-2.5' Width/Spread: 2-4'

Little habit. Little leaves. BIG fall color display. When you consider that a typical fothergilla can reach around 10 feet tall and wide, you might be rather shocked to learn that Legend of the Small® only grows to a third of that size. You get all the vibrant, eye-popping, jaw-dropping fall color, but in a manageable package. Plant it in the middle of your border or as a low hedge and watch it show off from spring until late fall. Spring is for milky white, bottlebrush shaped flowers, summer is for blue-green matte foliage, and fall is for the explosion of yellow, orange, and red leaf color. Like other fothergilla, it may put out some suckers, but these can be easily controlled by pulling, cutting, or severing with a sharp spade. Plant in sun, shade, or anywhere in between, but fall color will be most vivid in spots that get at least some sun each day.

Why grow Legend of the Fall® bottlebrush?

  • Very small habit
  • Spring pollinator plant
  • Quite shade tolerant


Light: Full to part sun. The hotter your climate, the more shade becomes imperative, especially during the hottest part of the day.

Soil: Any well-drained soil will do.

Water: Average water needs; avoid drought.

Fertilizing: One application of a granular (not liquid) rose fertilizer in early spring is sufficient.

Pruning: Fothergilla generally needs little pruning. If you do wish to prune, do so after flowering in spring. Avoid very severe pruning, as recovery will be slow. Fothergilla is known to sucker a bit, especially when it is planted in favorable conditions, but suckers can be pulled, cut with pruners, or cut with a sharp spade as needed.

Botanical Name

Fothergilla x intermedia 'NCFI1' PP#34,139, CBRAF


5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Flower Color


Foliage Color

Blue, Green






Full Sun, Part Sun


Average, Moist, Well-drained

Season of Interest

Fall, Spring, Summer


Borders, Containers, Edging, Low Hedges, Mass Planting, Naturalizing, Woodland gardens, Fall interest


Attracts pollinators, Compact, Deer resistant, Fall interest, Fragrant, Heat tolerant, Native

Blooms on

Old wood


Dr. Tom Ranney, NCSU

SKU: 27008 Categories: , , , Tag: 

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Gardening Simplified magazine
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