Tony's Top Picks for the Fall Plant Sale: Week 3

Euonymus, Rose of Sharon (Althea) and Viburnum

Our Fall Plant Sale continues! Every week this season, we will have three types of plants on sale. This week, 9/25/20- 10/1/20, we’re serving up 30% savings on: Euonymus, Rose of Sharon (Althea) and Viburnum. Tony Fulmer, Chalet’s Chief Horticultural Officer, has selected 3 of his top picks from each genus to give you a bit of info to make your savings decisions easier.


Euonymus Success Tip: 

  • Be aware that Burning bush achieves best fall coloration in full sun. 
  • Consider protecting the shrub with hardwire cloth or chicken wire cages. It has very sweet bark. How do I know, and why should you care? I haven’t personally sampled it, but under the feeding pressure of deep snow, rabbits may eat the bark and can kill individual stems or the entire plant if they girdle rings of bark off. 

Compact Burning Bush 

Easy-as-pie to grow. This naturally rounded plant grows to 5-6’ tall and equally wide with minimal maintenance. Nice dark green leaves fire an intense scarlet red unmatched by any other shrub I can think of. Could be spaced 3’ apart to make a dense intermediate height hedge.  

“The Evergreen Types” 

It may be surprising to learn that Euonymus is more than Burning bush (above) and the evergreen ground cover Purpleleaf wintercreeper. There are also a number of interesting variegated evergreen shrubs that make nice color splashes while easily tolerating ½ day sun, 1/2 day shade. They may be grown either as a short (non-adhering) vine if planted against a wall or fence, or a sprawling 24-30” tall/wide freestanding ground cover color accent. There are a number of bicolors that include: gold, yellow, cream, even silver, all combined with green. Some of the varieties to look for would be: ‘Emerald Gaiety’, ‘Emerald ‘n Gold’, ‘Gold Splash’, and ‘Moonshadow’. While perfectly hardy, I like these out of open, winter wind-beaten sites. They’re much prettier plants with wind protection, like Rhododendrons.

'Rudy Haag’ 

Slower growing than Compact Burning Bush to 4-5’, reported to produce fewer seeds as well.

Rose of Sharon (Althea) 

Rose of Sharon (Althea) Success Tip

  • No shade tolerance, really need full sun. 
  • Summer-blooming, so any needed pruning should be done in late winter, early spring. 
  • Can be purchased either as a multi-stemmed shrub, or single-trunked, giving the appearance of a “small tree”. 
  • They’re literally the last plant to leaf out in the spring garden. So, when it’s mid-May and they still look dormant, don’t worry. It’s often the last week of May before the leaf buds even swell and show any signs of life!  

Lavender Chiffon®

Anemone-flowered meaning an outer row of single petals with a double pompon center. Lavender as you might have suspected. 7’ tall and wide. 

Rose of Sharon, Lil' Kim®

One of the first dwarf varieties only growing 4’ by 4’. A pretty single white flower with a blood-red throat that “whiskers“ out over the petals.                       


Another long-blooming dwarf Rose of Sharon (also 4’ x 4’) with soft lavender-pink flowers. Nearly sterile, so very few, if any, seedlings will be produced.      


Viburnum Success Tip: 

  • The Viburnum genus is a large one with many varieties that can answer a wide range of landscape solutions: specimen focal point, mass plantings, screening. 
  • While they prefer sun most will readily tolerate at least ½ day (some, more) shade without any major reduction in plant density or quality. 
  • They are overwhelmingly spring bloomers dictating that any maintenance pruning you desire should be done preferably within 4, and absolutely no later than 6 weeks after bloom. Why so? Pruning after that 6 week period has elapsed doesn’t give the flower buds time to develop before winter, so you’d be reducing the number of flowers the following spring. 


Just a wonderful textural plant with narrow, but elongated dark green leaves that are semi-evergreen/deciduous depending upon how protected their siting and also the severity of the winter. Milder winters = more likely to retain some leaves. Vigorous, but dense and naturally rounded to 10-12’ tall and wide. Yellow-tinged white spring flowers. May produce fruit if another V. lantana or V. rhytidophylloides variety is there to cross-pollinate. Strong enough seasonal interest to be a specimen plant, en masse, or for tall screening. An all-around landscape powerhouse!

Doublefile ‘Mariesii’ 

Has a very definite layered horizontal branching habit that makes it visually special. It’s at it its very best in May when the large white lace-cap flowers sit regally atop the branches like melting snow. Nothing else like it! Nicely textured foliage, too, that may or may not show you red-purple fall color, depending upon the year. 10-12’ tall and wide.

Viburnum, Spice Island Koreanspice - Sugar n’ Spice™ 

A selected variety of one of the most popular flowering shrubs I know- the fragrant Korean Spicebush. For those that haven’t experienced the flowers the wonderfully sweet smell is like an intensely spicy carnation. The buds are pink, but open to a creamy white- always in bloom at Mother’s Day! Sugar ‘n Spice™ was selected for its extremely heavy flower production. Flower size is slightly smaller than standard Korean Spicebush. With enough sun, potentially good wine-red fall color that adds yet another season of interest. Moderately slow growth rate to 4-8’ wide and tall at maturity! 

Shop the our Fall Plant Sale collection of Euonymus, Rose of Sharon (Althea) and Viburnum online or come in to shop the entire collection. Stay tuned for next week's Plant Sale Top Picks!

Tony Fulmer

Chalet's Chief Horticulturist Officer