Mount Airy Fothergilla (Fothergilla major ‘Mount Airy’)

Mount Airy Fothergilla

  • Pretty All Year Long
  • Fragrant White Flowers in Early Spring
  • Bottlebrush Blooms Are Honey Scented
  • Leathery Blue-Green Summer Foliage
  • Stunningly Vibrant Fall Foliage
  • Attractive Dark Gray Bark in Winter
  • Neat Upright Appearance
  • Can Be Easily Pruned for Size Control
  • Easy Care Native Shrub
  • Wonderful Specimen Plant
  • Outstanding Choice for Mixed Shrub Borders
  • Butterfly and Hummingbird Magnet

This wonderful selection is a “plantsman’s plant”, so you know it offers loads of ornamental features. Beautiful through all the seasons, Mount Airy Fothergilla (Fothergilla major ‘Mount Airy’) easily earns its keep in any yard, no matter the size. Plant it where you see and smell the amazing spring blooms and enjoy that brilliant display of fall color.

Have you heard of this plant? If not, that’s a good thing. Chances are good you may be one of the first in your neighborhood to grow them. Get ready to answer questions, and don’t be surprised to be the local “trailblazer”. You are likely to see several in the neighborhood the year after you plant yours.

And why not? This improved cultivar of the native shrub features a neat, upright habit that allows it to be used in many different ways. It is a standout choice for most landscapes, both home or commercial.

Mount Airy Fothergilla is a vigorous flowering shrub with abundant blooms in the early spring. Each creamy-white, bottle-brush flower is honey-scented, with luscious vanilla undertones. Yummy!

The noteworthy flowers are held high above the foliage. Even if you use this pretty shrub as a backdrop for shorter plants, those gorgeous and unusual blooms can be easily seen, smelled and enjoyed.

When the flowers fade, Mount Airy develops beautiful green and blue-gray leaves for summer. The thick, leathery leaves add a wonderfully coarse texture. Try them as a perfect contrast to the flowing blades of Ornamental Grasses or airy perennials like Russian Sage. The cool-toned color helps brightly colored, small shrubs like Glow Girl® Spirea really pop.

You’ll be thrilled with the annual fall color show. Don’t be surprised to see your shrubs display a wonderful mix of harvest colors. Exciting shades of yellow, orange and red-purple can all be seen—sometimes all together on a single leaf!

This fabulous plant can be used to great effect in your landscape design this year. Order several Mount Airy Fothergilla from the expert growers at Nature Hills Nursery and make your neighbors jealous.

What a treat to receive your gorgeous new shrubs. They’ll be carefully wrapped in very sturdy boxes and delivered right at your doorstep. Order today!

How to Use Mount Airy Fothergilla in the Landscape

Enhance your experience of the incredible springtime fragrance by careful placement. Site these native shrubs near patios, windows or walkways. Try a few in a grouping at the corner of your garage. Use them anywhere the wonderful fragrance can be appreciated.

Mount Airy Fothergilla has a very well-behaved character and grows in a nice, tight, upright form. It makes a beautiful addition at the corner of foundation plantings, or along the length of your side yard or driveway. It will bring a unique, yet formal, look to your landscape.

We recommend that you plan to use several of them for the best results. Go big with this plant, you’ll be astounded at the spring bloom and fall color.

Planted in groups, this variety makes a huge impression. Use at least 3 shrubs to amplify the charm.

You can also create a mass planting to cover wide open ground. Plant them 3 feet apart on center so they will grow together and touch. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

For large massed plantings, use a zig-zagging, staggered planting plan. Mulch between plants and be sure to keep new plantings weeded until you achieve full coverage.

Use it on the sunny side of larger evergreen trees, or large purple-leaved shrubs like Royal Purple Smoke Bush or Purple Leaf Plum for a beautiful modern show in spring and fall. Or, use as a background plant for small perennials and compact shrubs.

Try an informal grouping as a focal point in the lawn. Use an odd number of plants for the best results. You can vary the planting width out to 6 feet on center if you want to see each plant as an individual. Add plenty of plants for butterflies and hummingbirds and you’ll have a wonderful view from the picture window or deck.

For a more classic approach, pair it with Rhododendrons and Azaleas, which love the same type of soil and light conditions and have been Fothergilla companion plants for generations. The fall color of this plants when included in a bed of mixed evergreen shrubs like Azaleas and Rhododendrons is spectacular.

Include them in any native planting or consider planning them in a woodland garden or mass as a fill plant. Their low maintenance nature makes them a perfect choice for naturalization.

Tips for Care

Plant Mount Airy Fothergilla in a full sun to part shade location, in well-drained soils. It can tolerate full sun, or a good deal of shade and still perform well.

For new plants, you’ll want to provide a moderate amount of water on a regular basis. Use mulch to keep the roots cool and the surface moisture consistent. Give supplemental water even after the roots are well established if you have an extended drought.

These deciduous shrubs prefer acidic soils that are rich in organic material. Aim for a soil pH between 5.5 and 6.0. Fertilize with Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Acid Fertilizer twice a season, once in the spring and then again in the mid-summer.

When grown in Zones 9 and 10, Fothergilla must be protected from the late afternoon sun and the soil pH must be maintained lower than 6.0. Check your soil pH in these areas to prepare and care for this plant correctly. If needed, use fertilizers and mulch that promote acidity as a beneficial boost.

Allow enough room so the plant can achieve its full height and spread. If the plant can fill out the way it wants to, your maintenance will be greatly reduced. Pruning is minimal, limited to cut out misdirected or weak limbs.

Mount Airy Fothergilla (Fothergilla major ‘Mount Airy’) Details

Common name Mount Airy Fothergilla
Botanical name Fothergilla major 'Mount Airy'
Hardiness zone 5-10
Growth rate Medium
Height 5 - 6 ft.
Width 4 - 5 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color White
Leaf color Deciduous