Ruby Spice offers dark red to nearly maroon blooms, large and profuse, that open in late season, just as the rest of the garden is winding down. It carries you through that drab period that isn't really summer or fall, when the border can look tired. And these flowers have a rich, sweet, spicy scent that earned this shrub its common name of Pepperbush!
Butterflies flock to the blooms, which last for many weeks. But even after they pass, it's hard to miss them, because before you know it, the green leaves on Ruby Spice are turning brilliant shades of yellow and gold for fall! Even as they drop, they are beautiful, forming a glowing pool of color on the garden floor.
Ruby Spice is a good size for the border, foundation, or even specimen planting, It reaches 4 to 6 feet high and about 4 feet wide, well-branched and bushy. Because it is native, it is seldom troubled by pests and diseases, and grows readily with little attention from you. Pamper it the first year with deep waterings and moist soil on the acidic side, then let it go.
Best in full sun to very light or dappled shade, Ruby Spice will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions once it is established and growing well. Acidic and wet soils are all right, as is salt spray. Great coastal planting!
Have fun with this multiseason joy for seasons to come! Make Ruby Spice at home in your sunny landscape this season. Zones 3-9.