Bush and Shrub Care

  1. #ProPlantTips: How to Prune Hydrangeas

    pruning a hydrangea paniculata

    We’ve all been there, looking at the remnants of last year’s hydrangea wondering, “Do I prune these back or leave them be?” It’s an

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  2. How to Plant Hydrangea Shrubs

    Woman Tending Hydrangea Shrubs

    Planting Hydrangea shrubs can be a fun and rewarding experience. Hydrangea care can be intimidating but if you follow a few simple rules you’ll find the summer blooms are well worth the work!

    While doing your research, it’s important to keep in mind that there are different kinds of Hydrangeas. Each with its own unique look and care requirements. The four most common varieties in the United States are Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea arborescens, Hydrangea quercifolia, and Hydrangea paniculata.

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  3. Timing for Pruning Flowering Shrubs

    Flowering Shrub

    Every year we get a number of calls about why their particular shrub did not bloom. 

    So we are here to explain why this might happen, to help you plan ahead to allow your beautiful, abundant flowering shrubs to bloom endlessly. 

    There are a variety of reasons why a particular plant might not bloom. One reason why your plant might not bloom well, is that it received too much shade and not enough sun. 

    Another reason could be that your plant was given too much lawn fertilizer, which results in beautiful foliage, but a lack of flowers. 

    But most likely the biggest reason

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  4. Elderberries: What's the Deal with America's New Favorite Plant?

    Elderberries Around Spoon

    The Elderberry Shrub is a multi-purpose shrub that everyone is raving about. The three main go-to Elderberry shrubs are Black Lace, Golden, and York. Whatever your wants and needs are, this shrub will be able to do the trick for you.

    The different color schemes and personalities of these plants is what makes them so special. From dark purple to a yellow-golden foliage, it meets a variety of garden needs. It doesn’t just stop at the uniquely colored foliage either. 

    These Elderberry shrubs also produce the cutest flowers. Looking for petite light pink or large full white flowers? Elderberry shrubs aim to please and can offer either depending on the variety!

    We haven’t even scr

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  5. Boxwood Tips & Tricks for a Beloved Classic!

    Boxwood

    We would be remiss if we did not mention that Boxwood have been used as trimmed hedges as far back as 4,000 BC, in the gardens of Roman villas.  Boxwood have been used in Italy, France, Germany and England - all throughout Europe because it makes incredible clipped hedges. 

    Boxwood remain wildly popular today. 

    Their popularity comes from the innate ability to train this plant into many different forms.  They were used to create English knot gardens, topiaries, creating pieces of sculpture in the landscape.  Boxwood can be easily sheared in to tight forms.  The small, rounded leaves are evergreen and remain on the plant year round. 

    How to Use Boxwood in the Landscape

    Not only do Boxwood make classic low hedges-- governing direction and movement through the landscape with the structure they bring – they do so year round be

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  6. Boxwood Offer Beauty, Versatility in Any Landscape

     

    Boxwood - sometimes known as Box - has been around for a long time. They were introduced to North America from Europe in the 1600s. There are almost 100 different species and almost 400 different selections that have been made over the years, and the popularity of Boxwood continues today.

    Boxwood (Buxus) is a broadleaved evergreen. The small, round green leaves remain on the plant year round.  Different Boxwood species can be grown from zones 4 to 9, so when selecting Boxwood for your home, be sure to select the type that will grow where you live.

    This fine textured, green-leaved plant is equally attractive year round as it really does not change throughout the seasons.  For that reason, they have remained extremely popular in the landscape.  They are easy to maintain and can

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  7. You Can Change the Color of Some Hydrangeas

    colorful hydrandeas

    There are many kinds of Hydrangeas available today. Maybe the plant breeders went a little crazy introducing new selections recently. The good news is there are a lot of Hydrangeas with new color options, smaller plants, and more flower power!

    Nature Hills offers many options with some of the newest and the best.

    There is one group of Hydrangeas with pink or red flowers that can be changed to blue or purple flowers by altering the soil pH. This group is called Bigleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) and the flower color can be changed by growing the plants in a lower soil pH.

    There was a breakthrough with this species of Hydrangea that opened the door to growing them in colder regions. Then the plant breeders went to town introducing many new varieties with many

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  8. Pruning Woody Hydrangea Paniculata Type Shrubs

    woody hydrangeas

    Now is the time to prune your woody, sun-loving panicle type Hydrangeas (like Limelight, Quickfire, Diamond Rouge Little Lamb, Pinky Winky, Fire Light, Little Lime, Strawberry Sundae, Vanilla Strawberry and any other species in this group).

    The best rule of thumb is to cut back these woody plants by reducing about 1/3 of the length of last year’s growth, removing the brown flower heads that remain on the plant. 

    Leave th

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  9. The Wonderful Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla)

    Tired of mowing those dangerous hillsides?  Maybe you have an area that is just too shady for grass to grow well.  Maybe your lake property needs some bank stabilization?  Edge of the woods ground cover?

    Maybe you can’t get much to grow on that terrace along the road or along your driveway?  Or…maybe those shrubs you planted that get crushed by snow being plowed on them need replacing? 

    Diervilla is a super little native plant that has been getting a lot of attention lately.  It is commonly known as Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle, but it is not like the large, gangly shrubs that are invasive, but it is a very different animal.

    Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle grows in sun OR shade and has NO disease or insect problems.  They get about knee high and send suckers under the ground to form dense colonies of stems with great leaf color and

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  10. Harvest Time for your Super Berries from the Aronia Plants

    Black Chokeberry plants are native to the upper Midwest and northeast states and into Canada.  There has been a lot of research and breeding going on with the Aronia plants commonly known as Black Chokeberry.  Maybe Chokeberry doesn’t sound so attractive, so some like to call them Black Appleberries. 

    See, the thing about these deep dark berries is that they help to eliminate inflammation in the body and the antioxidant levels are more than 340% higher than blueberries!  Holy cow!

    These deep dark fruits are so easy to grow on super hardy bushes that produce many pounds of fruit each year.  They beauty of Aronia berries is they all ripen at the same time so they can all be harvested now before they begin to shrivel.  They must be pulled from the bushes.  They look like Blueberries in size and similar in color

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