If you’re looking for a plant that is lush, easy to grow, and looks great in your yard, look no further than the Sweet Almond Bush.
In botany, it is known as Aloysia virgate, and it originated in Argentina. It is most commonly found today in the states of Arizona, Florida, Alabama, and California.
Sweet Almond Bush Care & Growing Guide
This round shrub can reach up to 15 feet tall and up to 12 feet in width. That makes for a pretty big bush! Don’t be intimidated, though. This shrub can be trimmed and shaped to your liking. Pruning is ideal during late spring, when the blooms fade, so that you won’t accidentally cut next year’s buds.
The Sweet Almond Bush does well in a number of varying climates, but it does necessitate a cool period of 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit over the winter in order to grow. The bush needs at least 5 hours of sun a day, but can live in partial shade. Overall, this plant is very sturdy and can live and thrive in many types of climates.
3. Variations in Leaf Shedding
Depending on the location of your Sweet Almond Bush, it can shed its leaves multiple times a year or less. In North Florida, it would be most common to see it become evergreen. In other words, never losing foliage and only shedding leaves once new ones grow. In most other places, the Sweet Almond Bush is deciduous, where the bush will lose its leaves for the fall season.
In subtropical climates, the shrub will be semi-evergreen in its shedding process. Semi-evergreen is just what it sounds like: a combination of the above two options. Basically, their leaves will fall for a very short period of time before new foliage begins to replace it.
Because the Sweet Almond Bush is built to survive in hotter climates, they can go without water for many days. The best schedule for watering of this bush would be about twice a month. This is especially important during dry months where there is less rain. This tough bush doesn’t need much more help than that.
Another important factor in bush maintenance is good fertilizer. A generalized landscaping fertilizer works well. The best months to replenish your fertilizer are in March, June, and August for the best, healthiest growth. If generalized fertilizer is not an option, a slow-release fertilizer can also be applied.
Sweet Almond Bushes can grow in a variety of different soils, which makes cultivating them pretty simple. Anything from a loamy soil to even clay works well for this plant. During the first year of growth, make sure to water your bush regularly to keep the soil wet. This helps with root growth.
The Sweet Almond Bush is perhaps best known for its sweet vanilla and almond aroma, which attracts animals like hummingbirds and butterflies. Its flowers bloom all summer and partway into fall.
Long, pointy clusters of flowers develop into white blooms. These blooms last for months at a time for a long-lasting, flourishing look. Even when flowers aren’t blooming, this plant has a lovely, simple look that compliments any yard or garden year-round.
It is difficult to transport a Sweet Almond Bush, because its roots establish deep into the soil. Unless necessary, it is not recommended. But in the case that the landscape is no longer suitable for the plant, these steps can be taken. First, soak the soil with water. Next, dig up a wide hole for the root ball to sit in.
Dig the plant up out of the ground carefully. Take some burlap, wrap up the ball, and place the root ball into the hole. Make sure this location is one where the bush can get enough sunlight. Remove the burlap. Pat the soil firm and remember to water regularly.
The hardest part of maintaining this simple plant is pruning. It must be done annually to ensure the health of the plant. The best times to do this are after blooming seasons, so late springs and summers.
As mentioned earlier, do not trim or prune during the winter, as you could cut off next year’s buds. Grooming is essential to keeping a clean, controlled appearance to your plant, and well as for preventing disease.
11. Pests and Diseases
Unfortunately, this bush is prone to many different diseases and pest problems. Leaf spots, wilting, cankers, black knots, and dieback are the most common things to watch out for. As far as pests go, some harmful insects include caterpillars, Japanese beetles, Aphids, and Spider mite.
Beyond just appearances and scent, this plant can have a variety of uses. It is commonly used in places like butterfly gardens, because the smell of the bush attracts insects to its flowers. Following this same trend, it also works well as part of a garden, as it brings pollinators like bees to the bush, and encourages pollination to other nearby plants. The Sweet Almond Bush can also just be used as a nice background shrub to other garden plants.
13. Other Names
The Sweet Almond Bush also goes by the names Sweet Almond Verbena and Incense Bush, but any way you call it, you still get this lovely shrub and its beautiful signature flowers.
This Argentinian native bush is a great addition worth considering if you live in a Southern state where these shrubs thrive. Their hardiness makes them a good plant for those who don’t have the greenest thumb, but still want a beautiful plant to accent the outside of their homes.
Whether they grow in front, on the sides, or behind your home, they are a classy, simple look that adds life to any home. If you’re a more seasoned gardener looking for a missing piece to finish off your growing garden, this could be the missing piece to compliment the rest of your cultivated creation.
Stop by your local Home Depot or garden store today and check out these sweet, blooming bushes. Chances are, by the time you see them, you’ll be sold.