Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, acidic, organically rich soils which have good drainage. Good shade tolerance. May spread by root suckers if suckers are not promptly removed.
‘Mount Airy’ is a hybrid fothergilla cultivar that was discovered by plantsman Michael A. Dirr at the Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a vigorous deciduous shrub that grows 4-5’ tall and is noted for its profuse spring flowering, excellent summer foliage, excellent fall color and consistently upright habit. Terminal, bottlebrush-like spikes (1-3” long) of tiny, fragrant, apetulous, white flowers bloom in spring (April-May) after the foliage emerges. Flower color comes from the dense clusters of showy stamens (white filaments and yellowish anthers). Flowers have a honey-scented frangance. Leathery, ovate to obovate leaves (2-4” long) are dark green above and bluish gray beneath. Foliage turns excellent shades of yellow, orange and red-purple in fall. Genus name honors Dr. John Fothergill, 18th century English physician and early collector of American plants. ‘Mount Airy’ may be a cross between two southeastern U. S. natives, F. gardenii and F. major. It is taller than the former but shorter than the latter.
No serious insect or disease problems.
Group or mass in shrub borders, foundation plantings or native plantings. Hedges. Mixes easily with rhododendrons which generally share the same soil requirements.