Growing Lespedeza (Bush Clover)

Latin Name Pronunciation: less-ped-ee'zuh 

Fast-growing, medium-sized shrubs with loosely upright, arching stems and fine-textured foliage. Bush Clover provides a long lasting, late-summer color display with its dainty, pea-like flowers and the butterflies that seek out their nectar.

Light: Full sun.

Soil: Average garden soil; tolerates poor, dry soil when established.

Watering: The key to getting your new shrub or tree off to a good start is moisture. Water thoroughly after planting, and keep a close eye on the plant over the following week. Then, give it a good soaking once a week during summer, unless rainfall is plentiful (more than 1in per week). Established plants can generally get by on less water, but most grow best if the soil remains evenly moist. Please note that more is not better. When in doubt, don't water.

Fertilizer: We recommend against fertilizing at planting time and during the first growing season in your garden. Plants need time to settle in before being pushed to grow. Most established plants grow best if fertilized with a light hand. Here at the Farm, we fertilize our specimen trees and shrubs just once -- in early spring -- with a light but even coverage of a balanced, granular fertilizer (such 5-10-10, 10-10-10, or an organic fertilizer). If a concentrated, water-soluble fertilizer is used, please follow the manufacturers' recommendations carefully.

Continuing Care: Cut back hard in early spring to maintain shape. In Zone 4, the stems die back to the ground in winter, but new growth will appear in spring. Powdery mildew and leafhoppers may be problems.