The Q&A Archives: Viburnum Trilobum Baily Compact

Question: My shrub has not grown to over a foot tall in two years. It is planted in the northeast front of the house in a rock garden. The leaves get rusty and look as though they are dying out. It gets ample water. What's happening?

Answer: Viburnum trilobum 'Bailey Compact' is a compact form of the American Cranberrybush with a rounded shape, scarlet berries though late summer and beautiful deep red foliage through fall. It should reach 5 feet high and wide at maturity. If your shrub has not grown much in two years, the site isn't quite right for it, or the drainage is not what it should be. American Cranberrybush will grow in partial shade to full sun in rich, moist soil. If you didn't amend the soil prior to planting your shrub, I'd suggest digging it this fall, amending the soil with organic matter, and then replanting. You'll improve the drainage, add nutrients to the root zone, and greatly improve the health of your plant. Best wishes with your garden!

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