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Bramble infestation

Hi all

Hoping someone can give me some advice. I have a large hydrangea bush in my front garden. Unfortunately the garden was neglected by the previous house owners and the hydrangea (and about 90% of the garden!) is completely infested with brambles.  We spent hours trying to pull out said brambles (ouch) resulting in a still infested bush that now looks a complete mess. We think the only way of eradicating the brambles is to completely get rid of the hydrangea and digging out all the bramble roots and then planting some new hydrangeas, I have 2 potted ones I can put in its place.   It seems such a shame to dig out such a large mature bush.  Or alternatively, would it be better to cut the Hydrangea right back to almost nothing so we can get in underneath it to remove the brambles? Will the Hydrangea survive that? I We are complete novice gardeners! 

Thank you so much 


  • TheveggardenerTheveggardener Posts: 1,057
    Two years ago a friend gave me a very neglected Hydrangea. She dug it out left it on the side and was going to put it in the green bin. I asked if I could have it and now after trimming it back, planting it, feeding it and giving it plenty of water last year it shooting again. Why not try and dig it out clear the brambles from around it and it you can't plant it back somewhere put it into a large tub or plastic bag with soil and keep it watered till you ready to plant. My one is about 3 foot tall by 2 or 3 foot wide. You have nothing to lose and you might manage to save it.
  • Thank you both!  I never even considered it may survive being dug up, potted and replanted so I think I will try that.  The bush itself is huge! About 6ft wide and 8ft tall! A fair amount will need to be cut away so I can even attempt to dig it up. So my second question is, is there a better time of year to do this? Should I wait until autumn or just go for it now

    thank you! 
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Having just moved to  very neglected garden, I have the same problem.

    If you can dig out the brambles completely, that's the way to go.
    Neglected garden, brambles - snap! And as for digging them out completely I'm coming around to the idea that it can't be done :( I dug mine all out last year and ... they're back. Admittedly fewer, but enough to be more than annoying. And of course you just can't get them out of the roots of existing shrubs and trees so, sadly, I too am coming round to the idea of chemical warfare. A shame as I haven't used chemicals for twenty plus years. But these potions are designed by people in white coats so they must be safe, right? Sigh.
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Forgot to say that my main worry about Roundup or whatever is translocation to other things. Anybody ever had that happen?
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,576
    cut the brambles down short and paint them with SBK I've never had an issue with it killing anything other than the desired weed with that method.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,246
    In the meantime take some cuttings from the hydrangea ... they strike easily in water ... if the worst happens you'll have replacements and, in my experience,  the fact that you have replacements is almost a guarantee that the original plant will survive happily, and you’ll have to give all your replacement hydrangeas away to friends. 😆 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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