ShadyGardens Blog

September 26, 2008

American Euonymus – Strawberry Bush – Hearts A Bustin

Another very unusual native plant is the American Eunymus. Most commonly referred to as Strawberry Bush or Hearts-A-Bustin, Euonymus Americanus goes unnoticed most of the year. Green stems are attractive in winter, especially to deer. Small greenish yellow flowers in spring are lovely, although inconspicuous, but in late summer the American Strawberry Bush begins to show off.


The common name ‘Strawberry Bush’ comes from the dark red seed capsules that look much like strawberries. The seed pods are showy, especially once the plant is large enough to display a large number of the pods. But when the seed capsules burst open, that’s when they really capture some attention. The pods open to reveal bright orange fruits that are a sharp contrast to the dark red outer shell. Breathtaking, really. That’s where the plant gets its other common name, Hearts-A-Bustin.

And, like many of our native plants, Euonymus Americanus is very easy to grow. Requiring only a little shade and regular water to get established, the American Euonymus is drought tolerant. Unlike other forms of Euonymus, American Euonymus is not invasive.

Found in the woods in the Southeast, the American Strawberry Bush is hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.

If you like unusual plants, try American Euonymus, or Strawberry Bush. Not usually found in nurseries, but available by mailorder or online at specialty native plant nurseries such as Shady Gardens Nursery.

January 14, 2008

January Ideas for Georgia Gardens

Filed under: compost, extension service, garden, Georgia, mailorder, old-fashioned, sample, seed, seeds, soil, source, test, testing — shadygardens @ 6:22 pm

Even in mid-winter, there are many things you can do in the garden to enjoy those sporadic warm days we often have during January and February here in Georgia. Any time is a great time to improve your soil, but now would be ideal since you probably aren’t doing much planting. Soil amendments can be anything from homemade compost, composted manure, mushroom compost, or purchased soil conditioner. Do you ever wish you had some of those old-fashioned plants like your grandmother used to grow? Well, now is also a great time to order seeds. Order seeds of Nicotiana, Cleome, and other summer flowering favorites now, so you’ll have them ready when it’s time to plant. There are many mailorder seed catalogs, but I have found seeds from the following to always be fresh and reliable:

Winter is also a good time to have your soil tested. Soil tests can be purchased at most home & garden stores, but a more accurate result can be obtained from your local county extension service. In addition to more detailed and reliable soil nutrition levels, the report from the extension service will tell you exactly what you need to add to make your soil better! For complete instructions on soil testing, you can view the online publication:

http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/C896.htm or just drop by your local County Extension Office to pick up a soil testing bag with instructions. You’ll be charged a small fee when you take your soil sample back to the office where it will be sent to your state university for testing.

However you decide to spend the rest of your winter, I hope you’ll enjoy those nice days and take a walk through your garden as you dream of how much more beautiful it will be this year with regular rain. (I’m optimistic!)

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