In January our gardener cut all of our beautiful, but overgrown, Sweetspire (Itea virginica) shrubs almost to the ground. Five to ten inches is all that remains. Spring is here and everything else in the yard is starting to come to life, but I'm still not seeing any new growth on these shrubs! Will they be able to recover, or was this too drastic of a pruning? They were absolutely gorgeous and I'm just sick over this.
It should not have been too drastic. This is a form of pruning called rejuvenation. I would give it another few weeks. You will see shoots come up from the base.
I've just planted 7 sweetspires along the border of my property to keep people from using it as a shortcut. How long does it take before the suckering starts? And once it starts, how do I control it so you can see a break between each bush instead of a tangle of all of them together? Right now they are about 2 feet high and 3-4 feet apart.
I would give it another few weeks. You will see shoots come up from the base. When pruning, don't go overboard. Just give it a light trimming as needed, gradually shaping them the way you want.
Do you prune a Merlot sweetspire bush?
This article should help: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/prune-itea-virginica-merlot-29237.html
How to plant itea? Is it a shallow rooter or should it be planted at a deeper level? Thanks.
It is recommended to dig a hole that is 1.5 times wider than the plant's root ball but 1 inch shallower.
For more information on the care of itea, please visit the following link:
After years of searching for the right shrub for a particularly difficult area in my yard, it appears Itea is it! I am not a great gardener and would appreciate any info you could provide. I know July in S.E. Louisiana is not the ideal time to plant anything. I've been very ill this past year and my yard has fallen to pieces! Can I plant Itea Sweetspire this time of year (July)? Thank you :)! Missy
Here is a link with growing information.
You are correct that planting in July can be difficult but not impossible.
Daily water for the first few weeks and then slightly less as time goes on. If temperatures are above 85 degrees you may need to water twice a day.
Why is this plant sending out shoots away from the main plant? I had this plant in my landscape in Kentucky and Birmingham, AL without this happening. I am now about 30 miles south of Birmingham. Ready to pull these out because they are so untidy. Thanks
Itea Virginica does spread by sending runners out form the plant. You can remove these runners as soon as you see them.
You can try using a good landscape cloth to deter these new shoots.
Here is a link with more information.
My virginia sweetspire bushes and spirea bushes have red spots or marks on the leaves. Some spots are round while others are different shapes. We have had an enormous amount of rain this summer. My plants are located in the front of my house that does not get the sun until afternoon. My beds are mulched, however when I noticed the red marks I pulled the mulch from the bottom of the bushes to help the ground dry out. I can't find much information on red marks on leaves. Will this hurt the plants and what can I do to help them. I really don't want to get rid of them. Thank you.
It appears to be fungal leaf spot disease. The shady morning growing conditions and wet environment are contributing to the susceptibility. You can't change the sun exposure, and you won't be able to cure the existing leaf spots, but you can prevent further infections this season with a systemic fungicide spray. I like propiconazole (start again in spring for preventive action):