Fothergilla not growing well

miclino(5)October 10, 2011

I have a fothergilla mt. airy located in a raised bed, clay soil, full sun until late afternoon. It may be a dryish spot because it gets no supplemental watering unless I remember. I did that atleast once a week several weeks this summer due to the heat wave. It has been in that spot for alteast 18 months now and has grown very little. It has filled out a bit but put on barely any height. I really needed something taller in that particular spot.

I know fothergilla's grow slowly but this has hardly put on any height at all. Is there any reason to think it will speed up growth as it gets more established? Is the lack of supplemental watering a problem? I have boxwoods and weigela's nearby doing just fine.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i cant recall where in MI you are compared to my adrian..

but we had near 8 weeks near 100 degrees.. with nights very hot .. and no rain .... EVERYTHING on my 5 acres was affected ... even the hosta under irrigation ...

to suggest that you might have given it a couple extra waterings.. when you thought about it.. MIGHT be the lead fact in the scenario .... as you suspect ...

you dont mention whether the boxwood and weigela were also in the same lack of water situation ...

frankly.. after the summer we had.. i am glad i didnt lose more stuff than i did.. mostly conifers ...

the fact that it is alive is good enough for me ...


    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 3:28PM
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The boxwoods are established and doing fine. The weigelas are new and also growing very well. All are in the same situation regarding water and sun.

I guess what I am asking is that in normal conditions could I expect more growth out of the fothergilla or is it naturally extremely slow growing.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 5:14PM
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I have several Mt. Airy Fothergillas which were purchased as liners (large rooted cuttings) about 5 years ago. I planted them directly into the beds where I wanted them. I found that they grew quite slowly for the first 3 seasons, but then they started growing faster, especially width. The ones that are in similar conditions to those you describe are now about 4 1/2 feet tall and wide, though they may have more moisture than yours since they get runoff from a patio. The ones in drier situations have grown slower, so not watering regularly may have slowed yours some. They are relatively slow growing, compared to some deciduous rhododendrons I planted at the same time, but in my opinion are worth waiting for.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 7:05PM
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    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 7:48PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

Mine took about two years to begin to do well. The soil here is acid sand, but they were mulched with root mulch and leaves. Now they are slowly increasing and splendid.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 8:21PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

You don't say whether the soil in your raised bed is acidic. Box and weigela don't need it but Fothergilla does. It likes the kinds of conditions which suit Azaleas and Kalmia, whereas box and weigela are unfussy and will grow in just about anything. Might be worth checking.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 12:55PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

As flora eluded to Fothergilla is quite slow around here...we have neutral to slightly alkaline soil. They do perform they are just slow.

One of the reason nurseries don't recommend them if you have rabbits as they do't rebound very well after they are ravished.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 5:53PM
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I believe my two fothergillas have been ravaged by rabbits. If not then my neighbor cut every stem with sharp pruners. Any suggestions for getting them back. They don't appear to be dead but it's April 15 and there isn't a speck of green or flower on them. So disappointing.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 2:13PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

organikgirl-For the first time in the 10 years I've had my fothergilla squirrels simply ravaged my plant.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 7:09PM
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