If you want to bring a little color into the garden in late summer and autumn, you are well advised to use the seven-sons-of-heaven shrub. Because of its late flowering and the bright fruits, it enhances the dreary autumn garden.


  • lat. Name Heptacodium miconioides
  • cultivated as a large shrub or small tree
  • Height three to four meters
  • Width two to three meters
  • creamy white flowers
  • Flowering between August and October
  • red fruits in November
  • hardy
  • slightly toxic
  • deciduous in autumn


The purple and later bright red fruits contain the seeds needed for sowing. Sowing can be done throughout the year:

  • Put seeds in potting soil
  • just press lightly
  • Keep soil slightly moist
  • ideal to cover with transparent foil
  • Or put in a mini greenhouse
  • ventilate well in between
  • bright and not too warm
  • Seedlings slowly get used to the sun in a pot in the first spring
  • plant in the desired location next spring
Note : If the shrub reproduces itself in the wild, then the seeds here simply fall to the ground. Therefore, when sowing, you should also make sure that they are not inserted too deeply into the ground.


The decorative shrub adds a little color to an autumn garden. But even in summer it captivates with decorative creamy-white flowers. These are attached to panicles in individual flowers during the flowering period:

  • Pre-flowering in June
  • Main bloom from August to October
  • berries in November
  • first crimson
  • then bright red
Note: There are usually seven flowers on a panicle, which is how the shrub got its name.

watering & fertilizing

The easy-care seven-sons-of-heaven shrub can tolerate drought very well, but needs regular fertilizer to develop the decorative flowers:

  • Rain is usually enough
  • water only during very long dry periods
  • in the early morning or late evening hours
  • only on the roots
  • fertilize in spring before sprouting
  • Spread compost all around
  • rake in easily
  • Winter mulch also provides nutrients

Diseases & Pests

Diseases or pests are not yet known for the robust shrub. Occasionally, aphids can infest the fresh shoot tips if there are more of them on the surrounding plants in the garden:

  • Shower the shrub well
  • Spray a mixture of vinegar, dishwashing liquid and water on affected areas
  • in the worst case, spray insecticide against aphids


Whether in autumn or spring, the shrub forgives planting at any time, although spring should be preferred here. In this way, the wood can take root well over the summer before the first frost comes in winter:

  • Hole twice the size of root ball
  • Enrich excavated soil with compost
  • Dig a little deeper for drainage
  • Distribute stones on the bottom of the hole
  • insert shrub
  • make sure that it is used straight
  • fill in prepared soil
  • press well
  • water
Note: The seven-sons-of-heaven shrub is only suitable to a limited extent as a container plant. However, the young shrub can be cultivated in a large container for the first few years. It should be noted here that when cultivating in tubs, there must always be sufficient winter protection.

plant neighbors

Due to its wide and tall growth and the spread of the underground roots, the tree is often planted as a solitaire, for example on the edge or in the middle of a lawn. The seven-sons-of-heaven-shrub can also be placed in a mixed hedge:

The shrubs are also shed varieties. However, evergreen shrubs can also be cultivated together in a hedge with the seven-sons-of-heaven shrub.

Note: Due to the spread of the underground roots, you should ensure a planting distance of between 1.20 meters and 1.60 meters in a hedge so that the individual hedge plants do not get in each other’s way.

To cut

Heptacodium miconioides usually does not need pruning to grow well or to unfold its decorative flowers. If you want to keep it small or remove dried branches, you can use scissors:

  • do not cut in the fall
  • then bloom is affected
  • Cut in late winter
  • just cut back slightly
  • remove dead and frozen branches
  • planted in a hedge to match the rest
  • tolerates every cut
Tip: You should buy the seven-sons-of-heaven shrub if you have enough space for the sprawling and tall growth. Because the smaller the shrub, the smaller the visual effect.

Location & soil conditions

As with all ornamental trees, flowering depends heavily on the right location. Soil conditions are also an important factor for rich flowering:

  • single position
  • sunny and warm location ideal
  • light penumbra is accepted
  • tolerates urban climate
  • Soil dry and fresh
  • permeable and nutritious
Tip: The seven-sons-of-heaven shrub can also cope well with a longer period of drought, as the wood is very adaptable.


The seven sons of heaven shrub is actually hardy and requires no protection. Only young shrubs that have been newly planted should receive a little protection:

  • Lay bark mulch around roots
  • make sure there is enough moisture in winter
  • could dry up otherwise
  • in severe frost, cover small shrub
  • use plant fleece for this


If the seven-sons-of-heaven-shrub is cultivated in the garden, the right location with enough space should be chosen right from the start. Because an older shrub is no longer so easy to transplant if it becomes too large or obstructs at the chosen location. Therefore, transplanting should actually be avoided, but sometimes there is no other way:

  • never transplant older shrubs spontaneously
  • results in the death of Heptacodium miconioides
  • prepare in the first year
  • narrow sheaves in half a meter to the base of the shrub
  • in this way the broad roots are cut off
  • backfill with loose soil
  • Keep roots growing downward
  • stimulates the formation of fine new roots on the trunk
  • carefully dig up in the next early spring

To do this, dig around the base at a distance of about 60 cm and lift out the entire root ball. So the seven-sons-of-heaven-shrub can be brought to its new location and planted here.

If you cut off the roots all around, you should also cut back the shrub accordingly, so that the upper mass is again in the right proportion to the now smaller root ball. This is particularly important for shrubs planted as large solitaires.


In summer it is possible to propagate the shrub with cuttings. For this purpose, individual, delicate but already woody branches are cut before flowering:

  • stick in sand or potting soil
  • keep moist
  • cover with foil
  • always stick two eyes in the ground
  • remove the lower leaves
  • fertilize when roots form
  • Keep pot bright and cool over winter
  • plant outside in spring
Note: The lower leaves should always be removed so that there are no leaves left on the branch near the ground. Because these would start to rot and endanger the whole cutting.

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