London (change)
8 messages
24/08/2014 at 22:49

We have an old, spreading snowberry bush in full sun. It seems healthy and has flowers at the end of its branches, but not down the stems.  Another, younger bush has flowers in the leaf joints down the stems. Should we cut back the old bush drastically to encourage more flowers? The old bush has suckers, should they be allowed to grow or be cut out? I was under the impression that suckers take energy from the parent plant. This is a bit complicated!  I hope someone knows! Ultimately we want more flowers on the old bush. 

24/08/2014 at 23:00

Suckers are just shoots coming from the root, they are part of the plant here. but can be a nuisance when they appear in the middle of the border. Snow berry can be cut right to the ground and will come back

Troublesome suckers are when the root is different to the top growth (eg roses), the rootstock is a stronger grower than the top. Growth from that rootstock will take over.

25/08/2014 at 09:05

Thank you, Nut. I'll try that in a few weeks when the berries look a bit old! It is quite pretty and the bees love it.

25/08/2014 at 09:11

The bees and others do love it don't they.

I'd cut it when the berries are gone as well, they're food

25/08/2014 at 09:36

It's often used to provide food and cover for pheasants etc during the autumn and winter.  It gets cut down to ground level in the very early spring and regenerates quickly forming dense undergrowth - if it's getting too dense either dig out some of the suckers, or remove the old plant and let the newer growth spread.

25/08/2014 at 13:35

Oh yes, I'd forgotten the pheasants and bird food. Oops . Thanks for the reminders - I'll wait till next spring!

25/08/2014 at 23:32

We use our crop of snow berries as a windbreak, works a treat and wildlife love it.

i would never take it out. 

26/08/2014 at 09:32

if its old and looking leggy you can cut it back hard (and by hard I mean knee high!) in early spring, you might not get any berries that year but it'll be three feet tall by the end of the year. remove any suckers you find as it spreads fast.

I've been removing it form a woodland where I volunteer (it was planted 20 years ago for wildlife and has in fact taken over and killed most of the native ground flora) the only way I've got rid of it is to cut it down in spring and glyphosate the regrowth mid summer (and deal with the collateral damage of the natives) - so its a hardy blighter, chopping it wont do it any harm!

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