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Cornus and Forcythia

After hearing so much about their beautiful coloured stems, I recently bought a Cornus alba 'Elegantissima' and a Cornus Sericea 'Flaviramea'. I also bought a Forcythia 'Lynwood Gold'. I was hoping to make my garden more attractive in the winter and early spring. 

However I'm now reading how to care for these plants and two words keeps standing out 'vigorous' and 'suckering'. 

Has anyone had a problem with the cornus or forcythia? Having just dug out a mass of invasive bamboo which has spread from next door, I'm now leery of planting anything that might not be well behaved. 


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,688
    I've never heard of either becoming a problem.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,333
    I’ve never heard of that, my Forsythia is very well behaved, Cornus has made a nice clump but not a problem.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thank you both. That's a relief. The plant tags say they all grow to about 4x4 metres, which is fine. I just started to fear a rampant suckering invasion and panicked. 
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    The C.sericea can be a bit thuggish.  However if you are firm with it every year and take off anything that is heading off into the areas you don’t want it to go to then it will be fine.   The advantage is that you will have lots of layered cuttings to give away, and nice yellow-green stems to make Christmas wreaths out of.  
  • Thank you Helix. 
    I hadn't thought of making Christmas wreaths, so that will be an added bonus. 
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,434
    I have a cornus that suckers everywhere. I don't know what variety it is but it's a sneaky  b****r . It seems to have runners too so I find it some distance from the parent plant. The worst thing is that it escaped to next door's garden and they've let it grow really high. I can't cut it back because it's theirs now.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • summerholidayssummerholidays Posts: 61
    edited April 2019
    B3 do you possibly have the Cornus Sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'? (see pic) I've been reading that that one is particularly bad for suckering.

  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,308
    We have one that looks like Midwinter fire, and it has not gone anywhere, it seems to have stayed in a small clump so far. I also have not pruned or coppiced it at all yet.

    But the big commonest red stemmed one planted all over our estate many years ago,  is a bit of a pain.

    I think most of these take a few years to get out of hand, but I am wary of the (sorry unknown variety) red stemmed one here. It has plain green leaves, and white berries.
    We have a bit still in our garden, but the main suckering spread is on council land. But that was probably planted around 30 or so years ago, an not been tended by them.  I have had to cut and dig out roots of large clumps that have invaded. It is hard but not impossible.

    I wonder if the variation is soil conditions too. Some people might have drier gardens than others. The pH balances might make differences too.
    Optimum in one place with one cultivar might be less invasive elsewhere.
    Grow them for a while and see how they do on your soil, and if they start to spread more than you would like, remove them. :)
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,434
    No. think it's some sort of alba. It was here when we moved about 20 years ago.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,308
    @B3 the red one here grows from berries, we get a fair number of seedlings that soon spread roots if you don't notice.
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