Sorbaria Sorbifolia 'Sem' question?

ostrich(3a AB)June 10, 2012

I saw this absolutely beautiful plant in a garden centre the other day, and it turned out to be this Sorbaria Sorbifolia "Sem". The foliage was stunning and the texture was very lovely. However, when I did a search of it in Gardenweb, only very few threads showed up.

I am wondering how this shrub does in an area like Calgary? Does it really sucker like some people suggested? Would love to hear from someone who has grown this shrub. Thanks!

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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I have it in my yard. It does sucker, yes. It looks nice, the leaves are interesting and the white flowers are pretty. I have it under a massive spruce tree, duking it out with Smilacena stellata for space, so it's not rampant for me. But it has spread over the years and my only complaint would be that it shows up far from the original plant, thereby not forming a nice clump but just showing up uninvited.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:26AM
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I don't know if this is the old variety or new and improved . The older variety I found very invasive and I think every farm stead had them growing almost wild. Maybe this is a better one.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 11:25AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Hi northspruce, do you have a photo of that please?

beegood, I believe that it is a dwarf version and it's supposed to be better behaved.... hmm...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:09PM
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I got my False Spirea from my MIL about 15 years ago. It never did stay put over all these years. Finally this spring I dug out all of it from the flowerbed.

But, the new improved variety 'Sem' apparently isn't invasive like the original False Spirea according to this article...but it does say that once established it will send out root suckers...


    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 8:15AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks, Brenda!

I read in some places that it prefers dry soil, and other places state that it prefers moist soil. What does it really prefer, in your experience?

Also, how does the foliage colour change according to sun exposure?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 11:49PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I'll take a photo of mine when I remember. I hadn't noticed the Sem cultivar, and not sure how much difference there is. Mine would definitely be the old school stuff because the previous owners only planted things they were given. Mine is in quite dry shade under the spruce but seems to be steadily migrating towards the tap where the soil is more damp.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 12:09AM
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Mine was close to a maple tree in a flowerbed that I rarely watered because it was too far away from the house. Can't imagine how fast it would have spread had I watered it....


    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:47AM
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mary4b(4b WI)

I planted this in a garden with the intention of never watering. The plant did great in that aspect, for a good 4 years. Problem is, that "SEM" was advertised as non-suckering for me, and 2-3 feet high. It got nearly 4.5 feet high for me and even after digging it all out and pulling out all the roots, this spring I still have suckers EVERYWHERE in that bed. It's all entangled with a dogwood shrub, so I will have to pull the dogwood out and get the roots out.

I did a lot of research on this plant and asked a lot of questions. I see tons of little shoots out in my lawn right now and it's also got massive amounts of roots underneath the bed's rock border.

Definitely highly invasive...and I do have very heavy clay under my lawn, so even though the bed is very fluffy (making it very happy to spread), the clay lawn should have stopped it somewhat, and it did not. Also, my rock border has quickcrete under the rocks, going 6" down and it tunneled under.

Don't believe anyone who says this plant isn't invasive...the first year, not so much. The 2nd year, everything's controllable....this is year 6 for me after I removed it and dug out every root I could see...and it reappeared with a vengeance. I will be using round up, reluctantly.

That said, I do plan to put some in a pot (away from the ground) and use it as a lovely planter on the patio. It will come back year after year in zone 4, even in the planter.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 7:02PM
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