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Avatar for gotsqueeze
May 9, 2015 10:04 AM CST
dallas Texas (Zone 8a)
These look like crap on the bottom. they're thin and not portioned. Can they fill back out on the bottom or would it be easier/better to remove and replace?

they are facing North & dont get very much light. Also they are spaced out irregular.

For the past few weeks ive been cutting the tops on them and they've gotten pretty full but im pretty sure its bc they're not getting any sun beyond the top "canopy" . Should i pull the top branches back thru to the bottom??

any suggestions on how to fix them without removing them??

thanks for the help!!

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May 9, 2015 10:08 AM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
As far as I know, they won't fill back in. I would underplant them with something with a little color. Then you won't have to start over.
Avatar for Dutchlady1
May 9, 2015 10:24 AM CST

Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator
Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
I agree
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May 9, 2015 10:35 AM CST
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
you mentioned they don't get much light. perfect spot for under planting shade perenials!
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May 9, 2015 11:05 AM CST
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Rescue dogs: Angels with paws needi
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
Suggestions: Patriot Hosta does well, here, as does Circus Heuchera. The Heuchera stayed green all winter. Photographs of mine:


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It’s okay to not know all the answers.
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May 9, 2015 3:42 PM CST
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Amaryllis Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida Irises
Herbs Region: Florida Vegetable Grower Daylilies Birds Cat Lover
Looks like somebody just went along the tops with a hedge trimmer to make them look tidy. Cutting the tops of shrubs again and again (such as to make a hedge all the same height) makes the lower branches die back and the top branches thick and full, eventually stunted. If you want a proper hedge with leaves all the way down, you need to prune with a tapering shape towards the top so the lower branches still get some light. So unless you're willing to carefully and selectively thin the tops, there's no hope of the bottoms filling in any time soon.

Underplanting sounds like the best choice to me too. Just don't plant expensive perennials like hosta too close to the shrubs. Remember they have fairly large, established root systems probably a foot or two away from the trunks/bases. So when you go to plant the new plants, dig a nice big hole, cut out any roots you see in there, amend really well because those shrubs are eating up all the goodies in that soil, and take really good care of those new shade plants to help them get established before the shrubs discover the new source of food and water! Large, well established plants will compete ok with the shrubs, but new plants will struggle without help.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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May 9, 2015 7:20 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
What Elaine said. Thumbs up
Avatar for gotsqueeze
Jun 9, 2015 9:41 PM CST
dallas Texas (Zone 8a)
Thank you . I think I'm going to extend the bed out a little more to give the new plants more space. I think it will be too close if I don't..
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Jun 9, 2015 9:59 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
A very good idea. Have you decided what you want there?
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Jun 10, 2015 8:14 AM CST
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Amaryllis Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida Irises
Herbs Region: Florida Vegetable Grower Daylilies Birds Cat Lover
Something like Coleus would give you a fast coverage, and they actually might compete pretty well with the roots of the hedge plants too.

The hedge is looking a little bit better. Did you thin the tops somewhat? Keep it up. The plants will branch gradually lower and lower if you keep thinning out the bushy, stunted branches up top.

(my hands are just itching to come and help you thin out that hedge, wish I lived closer to you)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Avatar for gotsqueeze
Jun 10, 2015 5:31 PM CST
dallas Texas (Zone 8a)
Here is an updated pic prior to enlarging the flower bed

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Jun 10, 2015 9:05 PM CST
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Our house had hedges like this when we moved in. We trimmed up the front of the hedges to encourage it to grown and cover the base. It pretty much did but it took many months. They are holly bushes that also grew to 6 feet tall covering half our windows over time. This year I had had enough and took the chain saw to it. When the chain fell off, I used my regular hedge trimmer and loppers to hack off 2 feet of it. I knew the top would be naked and bare but I didn't care as long as the bushes were lowered. There is now new growth on the top! I don't know how low you need to go to get it to grow underneath and cover the bare branches. I like the idea of adding undergrowth to yours. I have a row of Katie's Ruellia below our South-facing headges. The hedges look lush along with it.
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uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
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