Dead! - Knowledgebase Question

Edgewood, Ma
Avatar for gibsonboyd
Question by gibsonboyd
October 8, 2010
We just purchased our 1st home. 4 of the shrubs hav started dying already. I called and they replaced them and once again they have died. I would like to pull them up and put in my own shrubs, I am a beginner and no next to nothing about gardening. Which shrubs are best for me to use that will last all year around being that it is October and the weather is turning colder? please advise.

Answer from NGA
October 8, 2010
I'm sorry you got off to such a disappointing start with your new landscape. In general, shrubs need a deep watering once or twice a week, depending upon weather and it's important to match the sun exposure the site receives with the sun exposure the plant requires. If you plant a shade loving shrub in a sunny spot, it won't grow well. Likewise with a sun lover in a shady garden spot. Some new shrubs to consider include the following. You can plant in the fall, as long as the ground is not frozen. Be sure to water your new shrubs as soon as they are planted and once a week thereafter until winter arrives. Here are a few suggestions:

Sweet Pepperbush - can grow anywhere from three to eight feet tall with a spread between three and five feet. The shrub can do well in both sunny and shaded places and can thus be planted in most areas. However, sweet pepperbush does require quite a bit of water, so make sure that the initial soil you plant the shrub in is moist.

Another shrub that yields pretty white flowers in the summer is the swamp azalea. It grows from four to six feet tall and wide and prefers moist soil. Along with the white flowers, the shrub has small, shiny leaves that sometimes change from green to a shade of red.

Arrowwood Viburnum is a shrub that prefers sun but can still do well in partial shade. With a height ranging between five and six feet and a spread of between six and 15 feet so you'll either need a lot of space for this shrub or you'll need to plan on pruning as necessary. Spring will bring creamy white flowers, while June will bring clusters of dark berries. The berries are favorites of wildlife, including deer, squirrels, cedar waxwings, grouse and brown thrashers.

Southern bayberry is a medium evergreen shrub that blooms from March to April. Larger shrubs include the flowering dogwood, which can grow up to 50 inches and blooms white flowers from April to May, and the sassafras which blooms yellow and white flowers from April to May.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.

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