The Q&A Archives: Fernleaf Buckthorn

Question: Last year I purchased a Fernleaf Buckthorn from a local nursery. Since then I have searched every place I know and have found no information on them. Could you give me any info you have on this beautiful shrub? I've planted it near the house foundation with a southern exposure, full sun, clay soil. Please include pruning advice & conditions for growth. Thank you!

Answer: From Michael Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Rhamnus frangula 'asplenifolia' is very slow-growing, finely textured and will grow 10-12 feet x 6-10 feet wide. The plants are adaptable to most conditions and will grow in partial shade or full sun. They perform best in well-drained soil. The only pruning it should need is for aesthetics and if you have damaged or badly crossing branches. There is seldom need to fertilize the plant, especially when planted on clay soil. Enjoy this interesting plant!

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