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Planting a feather bush - instructions and special features

In this guide you will learn what to consider when planting the plume and what requirements the plant places on the soil.

There are many plants and plant species that hobby gardeners and nature lovers can inspire again and again - either through their growth, attractive or even rare properties, or their blooming at certain times of the year. The feather bush shrub (Fothergilla) is one of those shrubs that are characterized by a true spectacle of colors and flowers when summer approaches. The shrub, which was almost pinnate during this time, also beguiles with a delicate fragrance that not only attracts butterflies, but also bees and other insects - which is the main reason for many gardeners to plant the shrub at all. We describe below how to plant the plume bush correctly and which conditions are ideal for it.

The feather bush - always something special

If you want to plant a feather bush, you should know that it belongs to the witch hazel family and that there are two subspecies of the plant: namely the large feather bush (Fothergilla major) and the so-called small, alder-leafed feather bush (Fothergilla gardenii). The plume bush comes from the north of America and is known in both subspecies to be summer green. The shrubs usually bloom in delicate tones in May, with the flowers later being replaced by capsule fruits, which have a feather-like effect and thus make the plume bush even more interesting. As autumn approaches, the color spectrum turns into a scheme of red, brown and violet tones that many plant lovers like.

It is generally important to know that you should not expect rapid growth with the plume - because the plant takes a lot of time and - in the case of the large plume - can grow up to two meters high. Such a shrub can also reach up to two meters in width, which makes shaping and cutting very easy. If you buy the alder-leaved plume, you can count on a slightly lower and denser representative. Below is an overview of all the important needs for planting the plume bush:

  • The location should be sunny, but still protect against strong midday heat and drought
  • Soil containing humus is preferred, can be enriched with peat and plant substrate when planting
  • loosen the soil before planting
  • Planting hole should be twice as big - based on the root ball
  • abundant watering necessary

Attract insects with the feather bush

When the plume has developed the spike-like flowers, you can perceive a delicate but persistent fragrance that attracts insects in masses. The flowers are particularly popular with butterflies and bees because they spread a honey scent that can be felt throughout the garden. When it has reached its full size, the flowers and the appealing fragrance are particularly intense for insects and owners.

Suitable location for the plume bush

When it comes to its location, the plume bush has some requirements. For example, the plume bush needs enough sun to produce its flowers and autumn colors, but its location must not have too much sun, dryness and heat - this affects the shrub very much. A partially shaded place in the garden is therefore the better choice, so that on cool, hot days, sufficient cool shade can be provided. Especially the heat of the midday sun should be avoided with this plant if possible. At the same time, it is also worthwhile to shelter the plume not only because of the partial shade, but also because of other weather conditions: rain, hail and wind, as well as frost can damage the finer branches of the shrub, but also make its leaves look unattractive.

Soil requirements

A humus-rich soil is preferred by the plume of all kinds - this can usually be found on the edge of the forest or near many trees. A slightly sandy and loamy soil also benefits the shrub. If you are looking for the ideal pH value of the soil, it should be between 6.5 and 7.5. When planting, the soil can be enriched with peat to support the growth of the plume bush. Even with a plant substrate, you can always help the plume in terms of growth.

This is how the plume is planted

If you could get a plume of young plants in specialist shops or online, you should plant them in spring or autumn. If, on the other hand, you want to use seeds to do this, you should do this in autumn with a germination box - by next spring the young plant will usually be strong enough to be planted in a larger pot and taken outside in good weather. It takes about two years before a young plant that has been grown can spend the winter outdoors, and if you choose a strong young plant, it can be planted in spring. To do this, you should loosen the soil a little beforehand in order to create the optimal water and nutrient permeability. Before planting, get an idea of ​​the root ball of the plant: if it is already quite large and robust, the planting hole should be at least twice as large in diameter and depth. Now the excavated soil can be enriched with a little peat and plant substrate, so that the young tree feels as comfortable as possible and can grow immediately after planting.

Water immediately after planting, but waterlogging should be avoided at all costs - so the heaped-up soil should not be pressed too hard to maintain good permeability. Regular watering is inevitable for the young plume bush, especially upcoming heat waves and drying times must be prevented with a lot of water. In the spring, fertilizer for rhododendrons can be cared for every year, and the shrub can also tolerate fertilizer in summer. When the plume is fully grown, an annual fertilization and a little compost over the summer is sufficient.

By the way: The feather bush can also be planted in a medium-sized bucket if you want and if you want to keep it on the terrace or balcony. If the amount of sun exposure is optimal, it also develops its full splendor here. In order to be able to plant the plume bush in a bucket, however, a plant substrate containing humus and peat is required, which can also be enriched if necessary. Rhododendron earth is also ideal.