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Pruning Spiraea Arguta

Last post 29-04-2012 11:19 AM by madmuncher. 3 replies.

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  • 28/04/2012 01:35 PM
    • Fuzzypeach
    • Staffordshire
    • 19 Jun 2010
    • 23
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    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7218/6975037318_63e881eabf.jpg Hi, This Spiraea Arguta is approximately 5" tall by 5" wide and although I am not too bothered by the size of it, I am disappointed as it's hardly flowered. I believe it hasn't been pruned in the past and this could have something to do with it from what I've read. Thing is, I've looked at advice online that tells me to prune a third of the 'oldest stems' down to the ground but I'm not sure which ones they are! Would it be safe to say that the thickest are the oldest? And what about the rest of the branches? Oh dear, any advice to rejuvenate it would be welcomed. Thank you!!

  • 28/04/2012 05:02 PM
    • madmuncher
    • Nottinghamshire
    • 20 Mar 2010
    • 140
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    Right then....that bush does grow big..and it is not easy to keep it 'small' and flowering. The size don't have any effect to its capability to produce flowers...but looking at the photo..the fact that there seem to be quite restriction for the root area may have something to do with lack of flowers.

    Is the bed where it grows covered by gravel?..is the gravel on top of the soil..or on some weed membrane?

    Have you ever fertilized the shrub? Easiest way of giving your shrub some feed is to get box of rosefeed..sprinkle it around the the bed and water it in..do it faily soon..give it a month or so and repeat the treatment. Then next spring..say about February time..give it another feed..and you should hopefully see some flowers this time next year or so. Usually late spring- early summer time.

    If you need to reduce its size..now is good time to do it..it has then all summer to make new growth that will flower for you next year.

    'oldest stems' means any of those thick brown branches that sprout from ground level..cut few off evenly here and there..by inch or two above the ground level...and that should do for this year. Repeat it next year by choosing the thickest ones as soon as the flowers start to fade and over the next 3 year or so you would have renewed the whole bush..and then you start it all over again..by then you start recognizing which are the oldest stems.

    There is other option too..just chopping the whole lot down to a foot or so..but the shrub will look ugly for long time and you don't reduce anything else but height..it will stay really thick as you don't reduce the number of the main stems at all.

  • 29/04/2012 07:22 AM
    • Fuzzypeach
    • Staffordshire
    • 19 Jun 2010
    • 23
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    Hi Madmuncher, Thanks very much for you reply, that's really helped. It is in a gravel border, planted through weed membrane with gravel on top. As well as a lack of feeding and pruning, is it possible it's also in the wrong position? It's south east facing but the house prevents it from getting any real sun.. It gets plenty of light but as far as direct sunlight goes it probably only gets an couple of hours each morning. What do you think?

  • 29/04/2012 11:19 AM
    • madmuncher
    • Nottinghamshire
    • 20 Mar 2010
    • 140
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    Looking at your photo and how your bush has grown..lack of light should not be issue...I've seen this bush flower to quite tight squeeze amonst other taller shrubs and trees. Direct 'real' sun is not the issue..if you bush would be in shade..it would make the growth much more sparce.

    Did you do any 'preparation to the soil before covering it?..preparation=adding goodness into it. The weed membrane and the gravel acts as double whammy..both does block any weeds growing, although they do let the moisture through, but the soil itself is not able to function/live as usual..there is lot of hard landscaping around it. Nothing penetrate those layers that once was alive and would get back into soil and turn into new new soil again..so effectively you shrub just lives in a spot that doesn't have any natural life cycle left. Its bit like having bowl of porridge and once the food is run out...you are left to lick the bowl..it might catch some rain but it aint feeding you.

    It would be good if you could every few years peel the layers back...put layer of some organic matter on..like garden compost or even bag of bought multipurpose..and pull the membrane back on and the gravel. That would do wonderful things to any plants that are growing in permanent situation amongst the weed supressing 'stuff'..fertilizers help but as 'temporary' measure for few years..without any added organic matter..fertilizers will eventually stop working and cause more harm than good.

    Don't take my comments as nagging or critism..I'm just trying go get across the issues you shrub and soil has as the same principles will apply to other plants and crops too. You might hear in TV about soil errosion..farmers over working the soil..etc...   It all comes down to same thing..soil become exhausted of humus and organic matter = things that once have lived and are decomposing down.

    I'll take my 'preachers hat' off now..EmbarrassedZip it!..and let you get on with it..Wink