Bushes again

cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)January 9, 2005

Hi all! Happy New Year.:)

I want to plant some bushes that will have some winter color. I'm looking at some lovely Nandina Compactas. What draws me is the red berries and red leaves. RED!

LynnT recommended some Viburnums, but not which kind (I'll have to ask her again). I think she did mention a leatherneck or leatherleaf or something.

Anyway, my question:

What would be some medium-sized bushes that stay green all year, that

1) don't have pickers (no holly!)

2) could maybe have berries (any color is fine)

3) can take absolutely full, unmitigatingly hot sun

Any recommendations are welcome. :) I'm loving my 'Firepower' Nandinas, but they're just a little small. But... they're so nice and RED!



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Christine, you should read the 'Shrubs' forum if you're interested in Viburnums. There have been some really interesting threads there on the best fruiting Viburnums, and good pollinators for individual cultivars. I'm not sure however if any of them would be able to take the kind of sun conditions you're talking about.

I believe that there are evergreen hollies that are not pokey. Something like these:
You may also want to look into Stranvaesia davidiana, which is something I am contemplating adding to the garden as well. This is a really good write-up: http://www.paghat.com/stranvaesia.html

You'll probably have more options if you were willing to go with something deciduous. There are non-thorny hollies that have lovely red fruits, and another personal favorite is the Callicarpa.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 12:56PM
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kidhorn(7a MD)

Nandinas can get pretty big after a few years. Firepower can sometimes reach a good 3-4' in diameter after 5 or so years in the ground. The only problem with mine is they don't like being buried under snow for an extended period. They tend to drop their leaves and the leaves don't grow back until June.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 4:50PM
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Darn, I thought this was a political complaint ;o)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2005 at 1:07PM
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Aw shucks, I was getting ready for a potential "Shrub" political sympathy rant too...

    Bookmark   January 18, 2005 at 1:55PM
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gardengranma(6a/6b MD)

How about deciduous hollies. They are very red and the birds eat them last.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 2:57PM
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lori_elf z6b MD

Red twig dogwood is deciduous, but the stems are glowing red in the wintertime and they form very attractive thickets.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 9:34PM
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annebert(6b/7a MD)

Yes, I second red twig dogwood. You should cut it back in about March to get good colored stems next year, so this keeps it in bounds. And the cut stems are great in the house, too. Also it's quite cheap - you can usually get a small one for $5 at a box store, and they grow fast.

Christine, have you thougth about getting rose-colored glasses? Then you'd be happy all the time...

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 7:54PM
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gardengranma(6a/6b MD)

CF, I have a bright red Japanese maple (the bark, not the leaves). I'll show you which it is at the spring swap. I was very surprised, because that was not what I had expected (obviously I bought it when the leaves were on). I also have the red twigged dogwood, you can take cuttings (and a nandina that does not loose it's leaves in the winter). Ihope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 5:22PM
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I have a beautiful coral bark Jap Maple (sango Kaku) as well ... in fact last week a neighbor from up-the-street stopped me as I was shoveling snow and asked what the purpose was for painting the tree red in the winter?

Gotta good laugh out of that one ... (I told her tongue-in-cheek, that the "paint" was left over from last spring since cicadas don't like red) She might have believed me ...

Bethesda, Md.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 10:38AM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

I wanted to tell you all what great ideas (and laughs) I got out of this thread. I'm very excited about the pictures Suja linked and the ideas on the red twig dogwoods. I'll probably try to incorporate them all. I also decided I'm going to mix in some of my Buddleia collection, given the fact they don't lose their leaves until extremely late (not yet, as a matter of fact).

Bob, how did the Catawba do this year? I dug the remaining 2 up that I'd kept and traded them off this year. Just not the purple I wanted. However, I did pick up some Dynamites and Red Rockets which are PERFECT! :)

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 1:20PM
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The Catawba grew very well last year. Expect it will do even better this year and it looks great behind my pennisetum. .... let me know when you wanna get rid of those red ones!!!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 1:53PM
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