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20 messages
19/08/2014 at 15:25

Hi all

I've just moved house and i'm getting my head around what's in our gardens. Please could someone tell me what this Berry Tree/Bush is?

It's definitely not happy - losing its leaves fast and has markings all over its leaves.

Is it worth saving? And if so - any tips?

Thank you in advance.

(another photo to follow)


19/08/2014 at 15:30

Looks like a Hypericum (Rose of Sharon ).  They aren't evergreen so yours ( having flowered and produced berries ) is on the downward slope for winter.  It will come back again in Spring.

Just as a word of warning, they can be pretty invasive so if you don't want a garden full of them, best to remove the berries before they fully ripen and drop ( or carried by birds ).

19/08/2014 at 15:33


19/08/2014 at 15:44


Thank you Philippa. I've been searching on the internet for the last 3 hours. Do I need to cut this back? If so, how hard? It's looking pretty ugly to be honest and the leaves are just floating off....

19/08/2014 at 16:22

I would  cut all the straggly bits off - take it down say to about half the height.

19/08/2014 at 16:23

give it a  hard prune and it will spring back next spring! you can treat them pretty unkindly. Good advice from DF about keeping them in check. I prune the berries off mine. It flowers reliably in a pretty shady spot in my garden

19/08/2014 at 16:59

Hack it right back before next spring, It improves the look 100%

That's Hypericum androsaemum, Known as St Johns Wort or Rose of Sharon now with every other hypericum.

How anyone knows which plant they're discussing is a mystery to me


19/08/2014 at 17:02

Ok great stuff. Thank you everyone! Can't wait to get this one cut back, it looks dreadful.

Can I move it now too? Seeing as it's kind of finished doing its thing for this year? I want to plant my Pieris where it currently is.

19/08/2014 at 17:23

DFingers...........unless you are particularly fond of the Hypericum, I'd say personally a Pieris would be much more attractive.  I imagine if you have one Hyp. in your garden now, you'll probably discover another one or two ( or more ) without much problem

You could dig it up and replant but to be honest, I'm not sure I would bother.....just dig up and consign to compost heap but that's just my opinion


19/08/2014 at 17:30

Haha. No that's good advice. I've just planted my Pieris this morning but then wondered if I should have bagged the spot this dying shrub is taking.

I shall speak tut other half as he seems to like all the plants I don't. Typical! 


19/08/2014 at 17:44

Nutcutlet.......that's interesting .......I'd always associated St. John's Wort as a common name for the H. perforatum but there are hundreds of the beggars so I could have been under a misapprehension for years

Still, I expect it won't be long before the experts find a completely different name just to confuse us yet again

19/08/2014 at 17:49


The Hypericum isn't really dying......just closing down.  However, you could tell your OH that it  IS  dying and whip it out quick.  Bit of a cheat I know but needs must and all that

19/08/2014 at 18:25

Yep - just did that.... Naughty me!

I shall say that I was advised of course.

Thank you very much for your input!

19/08/2014 at 18:29

Hi Philippa, yes St Johns Wort was H. perfoliatum 

and Rose of Sharon was H calcyninum, the creepy invasive one.

Now both names seem to be used for anything in the genus. Or maybe it's just the sites I visit that don't know what's what.

I blame the likes of Wikipaedia

19/08/2014 at 18:39

One day I shall know all these things!


19/08/2014 at 19:26

DFingers........that's what we all my case, practice never seems to make perfect for some reason

19/08/2014 at 19:51

Dfingers, I fear It's too late for me. Too many years have passed and too much still to learn. 

Plus every time I learn something new I forget something old

19/08/2014 at 19:53

Well. I've learnt about Hypericum today so i'm chuffed about that. And currently it's in the brown bin. In bits. Good bye!

Pieris just replanted before the rain hit and it looks so pretty. Will look loads better once it's filled the space. Patience.....

Thanks again for your help!

19/08/2014 at 20:19

Nut, also, every time I think I've learnt a plant name the scientists go and change it...  But I'm with you on use of common names.  Used to drive me mad, working in a garden centre.  "Have you got Black Eyed Susan?"  "Yes.  Which plant do you mean?" 

19/08/2014 at 20:32

The one that really puzzles me is the number of people who talk of syringa when the plant is a philadelphus

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