Plant of the Week: SUGAR SHACK® Buttonbush

September is my favorite month for many reasons. It’s full of back-to-school excitement, and we collectively pivot from pool parties to tailgating. It also has me thinking of Sugar Shack® Cephalanthus. While the actual sugar shacks are a late winter thing, this version of our native buttonbush is still showing off in the landscape with its bright red fruit. It’s also smaller than the straight species, coming in at about 4-5′ tall and wide. From USDA 4-10, you can grow Cephalanthus occidentalis (aka buttonbush) in full sun in northern regions to part shade in the south.


Those distinctive Cephalanthus flowers were a wonderfully fragrant addition to landscapes earlier in the summer. While we enjoy the way they look, our pollinator friends LOVE their nectar. It’s their own version of a sugar shack, but without the heavy coats.

Soggy site? No problem.

Sugar Shack® buttonbush is pretty and attracts pollinators, which is enough for many of us. But it’s also a great problem-solving plant if the challenge is too much water. Many plants aren’t happy in that situation, but Cephalanthus loves it. Learn more from our friends at Creekside Nursery in this video.

Fall is back to school for everyone

If the approach of fall has you itching to go back to school, here are three fall webinars for gardeners of all experience levels, produced in partnership between the American Horticultural Society and GardenComm.

For more info and registration, click on one of these three event links:–gardencomm-webinar-series–gardencomm-webinar-series-2–gardencomm-webinar-series-3

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