Great Star

macgyver2009July 25, 2012

I looked back at some previous posts on Great Star. Those of you who have it, are you happy with it? The description I saw for it online says it has an arching habit. I saw one in person over the weekend. It was definitely arching. Wasn't sure how well I liked that aspect. The bloom however was quite stunning.

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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Not too impressed with mine; could be because of the drought. I think it needs more lateral branches, mostly - which would mean more blooms. The upright ones do arch somewhat. There are also a set of small branches along the ground that haven't really done anything, so I think I should trim those off; but that would leave the upright arched ones that would look kind of naked because of the leaf spacing.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:57AM
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gardengal48

I am very fond of mine :-) Since moving to a much sunnier garden, I have only recently started growing paniculatas myself (previously focused on oakleafs and macs) but I have been selling them for years and GS does seem to have a much more arching habit than many other paniculata cultivars. I personally have no objection to that but agree it may take a bit more thought as far as siting is concerned.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:48PM
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macgyver2009

Springwood, thanks for the photo. Gardengal, I'm glad you like yours. Can Great Star take full sun like other paniculatas? I'm out of shady locations. I'm tempted to give it a try. It looks like it may take some time to develop into something more impressive.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:42PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Mine gets sun from rise-to-set.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:07PM
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ireena_7

Hi!

My Great Star is really GREAT!!! Last year she was grow in the pot, but this year I planted her to the beds. I heavy shortened all stems in the spring - I want to make tree shape for her. It grows in semi-sahde, stems don't drop and are resistant.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Yep, mine definitely needs a hard prune. The upright branches should be cut back by about half, and those tiny branches all around the base need to go; they look separate from the main shrub and don't even flower!

I definitely agree, a short single or multi-trunked tree form looks like the best option for Great Star (e.g. multi-trunked magnolia trees). Of course, this may vary from plant to plant, but seems to be the direction these like to go in.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 3:50PM
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lucyk(z7 NJ)

I just bought 'Great Star' and would love to have it grow as a single stem. Am I right to think that I should cut away all the lower, smaller branches? It is August now (although cool). Maybe I will let it get settled until Spring when I can cut those branches?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 4:54PM
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macgyver2009

Those of you who have Great Star, are you still happy with it? I looked at it again yesterday and am still undecided. The blooms are gorgeous, but the plant itself doesn't seem to carry the usual paniculata shape.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 7:01PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Eh, I'm not 100% impressed with mine. Still kind of leggy even after a hard prune last spring. It has shot back to 6' tall and has about 20 blooms ready to fill out.

The critical issue is getting a full-bodied plant; getting the thick upright stems to produce others like it midway to the top.

The other issue is siting. The one above in front of the arborvitae probably looks better than mine being in front of a chain link fence. Other areas to site would be the middle of a circular bed with smaller things around it, but that wouldn't apply to my yard.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 8:52PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Here's a pic I took today (two years later). The stem density is increasing as it has produced some new thick ones from 1' up. And because there are more leaves, the ground is more shaded. These panicles are still forming, but I expect a few of them to exceed 12" in length.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:58PM
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macgyver2009

Thanks for the picture, Springwood Gardens. I passed on Great Star for now and went for Fantasia and Ayesha instead. The garden center had a lot of Great Stars, so still thinking about it.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:17PM
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Springwood_Gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Welcome. That's actually Fantasia below Great Star in the picture, next to a Pistachio.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:53PM
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