Philadelphus 'Snow Dwarf'- anyone grow?

christinmk z5b eastern WAFebruary 20, 2010

Hi guys! Does anyone here grow Philadelphus 'Snow Dwarf'? I have been wanting to get this particular cultivar to tuck in my perennial boarder. Most online sources say that this one will stay at about 2-3ft tall and wide. Is that true? Does it truly stay this dwarfed size or is it likely to shoot up another foot or two under optimum conditions? I have space for 2-3 ft, but NOT any bigger, so I thought it would be a good idea to find out before I go and buy it, LOL!

Thanks for any info.


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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

No shrub grows to a predetermined height and then halts completely, to never grow any higher yet remain vigorous and healthy.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 6:11PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

All plants have a predetermined average height/width set either by nature or breeding. Once it has reached its average maturity height it won't get much bigger- that's why we don't have thirty foot 'Goldmound' Spireas around ;-) I have several shrubs which (not counting suckering) have reached their limit and have not grown any larger- they are wonderfully healthy and vigorous dispite that.

Anyone have actual experience growing this cultivar? What do you think of it overall? Nice blooming?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 9:36PM
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Chris, I've not grown this one myself but I'm thinking about it........that smaller size is important in my very scaled-down new garden :-) A couple of sources are a bit more generous in their sizing (36-48" and as wide). Even at that size, it's much more manageable than the 12' monster in my old garden. But you can certainly keep it pruned back to the size you want. Just do so as soon as possible after the bloom cycle.

Even very dwarfed or compact forms of shrubs will eventually get larger than expected if left entirely to their own devices. Just keep your pruners sharp!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 10:06AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

gardengal- that was just the info I was looking for. It certainly sounds like a more manageable size than others. My neighbor's Mock Orange is quite a bear when it comes to pruning (which I end up doing, lol). I had hoped this was a truly miniscule cultivar that could be wedged in between the perennials and would stay dwarfed without regular pruning...can't have everything I guess ;-)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 12:57PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

We don't have 30' spireas because they are not capable of living long enough and holding their stems up long enough to reach 30'. Long-lived shrubs like camellias do grow 30' tall, after enough time has elapsed. Redwoods over 300' tall still grow taller every year. The upper height limit determined by how far up they can "pump" water is not exceeded because when that happens the tops die back, to start over again.

Uppermost annual tip growth may also be very slow on these towering, ancient trees. Which takes us back to what I said before, "halts completely yet remains vigorous and healthy".

What shrubs have you seen that look great yet are not growing taller at all?

Answer: none. Commercial sources don't want to scare people off. Give height estimations given a good dose of skepticism. And keep in mind these are usually for comparatively short periods of time, like 10 years. I've seen older specimens of plants repeatedly described as growing say, 6' tall that were multiple times that height.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:09PM
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