Should I prune these branches off Itea (spirea)

enrightJuly 13, 2014

I have Itea shrubs in my garden. This year it appears to have many dead branches. I am not sure whether they are really dead or whether leaves will form. Some of the seemingly dead ones seem to have acquired leaves, but that may be simply my imagination. Not sure exactly what type it is, but I know that the leaves turn red in the fall. I am not sure whether it bloomed this year. We had a particularly harsh winter.

This post was edited by enright on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 21:48

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I know they suggest to scratch branches to see if you see green under the bark, now I did this two years ago with a sand cherry shrub. No green...instead of ripping it out. I pruned it hard and planned my next placement to take it's place. It rejuvenated the next spring...

My neighbor had two Rose of Sharon planted a few feet apart. I swore one was dead from the harsh winter, when the one beside it filled with leaves and the Rose of Sharon beside it stood bare branched and looking dead. I always drove by feeling sad that it hadn't made it. My husband and I even discussed it. husband brought to my attention that the dead shrub was getting green leaf buds opening up! I had refused to glance it's direction for it always made me was a beautiful lush bush full of blooms when in season. So I hadn't realized the new growth appearing.

I would say...most of our shrubs did suffer die back from the harsh winter. But, I will always wonder if I didn't allow them to go further if they would have done as this Rose of Sharon had. Showing signs of life... Though...I didn't prune them out until July. Giving them longer than the nursery guy stated to do.

So I'm not being real helpful...just sharing experiences in my neck of the woods. You can see the purple leaves of the sand cherry at the side of our waterfall. I had totally gave it unto death. As it had no green under the bark when I did scratched to see if there was any. I had pruned it under a foot tall so it would not be noticeable when viewing it from this direction. (I have posts on the sand cherry and my concerns of it being dead here on the forum as well) Neither is the shrub you have...but, something to ponder.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:01PM
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I would like to add...if pruning them out...still keeps the overall shape of the shrub. It wouldn't hurt to do so. I can't tell by your photo if that is the case or not.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:04PM
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My two Iteas had lots of winter dieback this spring, which they had never had before. I cut off the dead stuff and they were fine.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 8:23PM
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The more I thought about it...I would prune them. The neighbor may have had a fluke...and their shrub wasn't this variety.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:47PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

its ugly.. cut out the dead stuff... no use looking at it for the rest of the year .... based on a hope and a prayer ...

many peeps in warmer zones.. cut them to the ground every season... the plant just doesnt care ... its a spirea... it doesnt matter which one ....

and yes.. it was winter ...


    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:43AM
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