Indian Hawthorne

This is another one of those very common plants that took forever to id. Three of these came with the house along the top edge of the driveway.

Hawthorne is a shrub that bears small white flowers in the early spring. Flowers are followed by berries. The berries are popular with the birds. The flowers are popular with bees and butterflies. If you need an early bloomer in your butterfly garden consider one of these.  It is the first shrub to bloom in my gardens each year.

Watering needs are average. Light needs are full sun to part shade.

Leaf spot is a big problem with hawthornes. The leaf spot is caused by the fungus ‘Entomosporium mespilli’. Small red spots appear, they turn into brown patches, the leaves turn yellow and drop off. Cool rain splashes the spores onto the plant where they settle in.

Mulching helps prevent leaf spot. Remove fallen leaves which contain spores to re-infect the plant. Prune so there is air space between leaves, and water early so the water can dry before evening.

Some people love it and use it everywhere, others have leaf spot problems and hate it. There are resistant varieties available if you love Indian Hawthorne but have problems with leaf spot.

These make great foundation plants because they grow so slow, but they really need to be in a sunny area.

Shrubs tend to reach 4′ by 4′.

Propagate by cuttings.

In Australia it is invasive in many areas. I think the leaf spot keeps it under control in Houston.

2 thoughts on “Indian Hawthorne

  1. I can attest from personal experience that there is a resistance difference between varieties. I loved my hawthornes when I first got them, but as time goes on I like them less and less. I have a group of four which are in very well draining soil and have excellent air circulation. I rarely have to water them even though they get full sun.

    But I have constant leaf spotting on my other hawthornes which don’t have perfect drainage and circulation and do not get full sun.

    I researched which types have the best resistance, and it appears to be the ones with white flowers. Clara is considered good, and Snow White is supposedly even a little better. The ones I have are Snow White.

    I guesss the best thing to say about Indian Hawthorne is that it is one of the very few low bushes which will tolerate full summer sun and look attractive with almost no maintenance. Even for a serious gardener that can be a bonus. Gives more time to devote to other plants.

  2. That is so true. After some pruning when I first bought the house there is not a thing I have done to the hawthornes. They have been totally care free except for the spotting. I don’t prune, water or do anything at all to them.

    Probably had they been originally planted in full sun that wouldn’t even be a problem.

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