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Shrub help - is this normal at this time of the year?

Simone_in_WiltshireSimone_in_Wiltshire Posts: 937
edited April 2022 in Plants
Hello Gardeners

My garden is coming nicely out of winter, which wasn't harsh this time. Hardly any storm and if so then only at the end with storm Eunice.

I had planted a Philadelphus microphyllus, which was approximately 40 cm high last year. Over the winter, I checked the stage of all the shrubs that I had bought and the Philadelphus had a few red/brown side shoots which seem to get new buds. Suddenly two weeks ago, over night without any reason, all the dark brown side shoots were broken like somebody had clipped them off. Now, I can't see any bud on it, and the plant is back to the grey looking main part, and looks like it is dried out.
There was another type of Philadelphus at the local garden centre last weekend, and I saw that this plant had also clipped off side shoots.
Is this normal for Philadelphus plants?
I would leave it in the bed just to see what happens, but I thought it might be that our garden is too windy for a sensitive plant if the branches break so easily.

The second plant in question is a Caryopteris "Pink Perfection". I bought it with green leaves, but the green leaves turned brown and are still brown. They are not dried out, it is the leave colour that changed.
Is this normal for Caryopteris "Pink Perfection" in April? The images I found in the internet show only green leaves.

As dovefromabove recommended,  I had cut back the Caryopteris on Monday after the frost was gone.

Many thanks in advance.

PS: I could add images as soon as it gets light outside.

I my garden.



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295
    Yes, add some photos Simone, my Caryopteris always looks bad at this time of year but seems to recover through the summer

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,910
    A photo would definitely help  :)
    Wind wouldn't normally affect the branches of Philadelphus unless they were already stressed in some way. I never have any damage like that on mine and it's very windy here a lot of the time. Birds or squirrels can break finer branches if they're landing on them, but it would be unlikely for anything big to be on your shrub when it's so small.

    I don't grow Caryopteris so can't help with that, but someone else will, I'm sure.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,552
    Caryopteris are deciduous. Mine are only just starting to produce new leaves, but the old ones are long gone so I don't know why yours has hung on to them.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,910
    Maybe the milder winter has meant the foliage has stayed in place. I've had hydrangea  foliage still there - just on one which is very sheltered by the house wall. That isn't the norm here, but it just wasn't wild and wet enough for it all to drop   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • The rain on Monday must have given new spirit because the Caryopteris ha first leaves today. 

    I have to edit the picture first, it is 3 MB on the phone. Will happen after work. 

    I my garden.

  • Simone_in_WiltshireSimone_in_Wiltshire Posts: 937
    edited April 2022
    I have attached the images. Being on my phone
    I only wonder now if I should cut it to 5 inches as Dovefromabove said. I have approximately 25 cm (10 inches). 

    This is the philadelphus 

    This is the Caryopteris

    I my garden.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295
    That doesn't look like either of the shrubs you mentioned (but I may have lost the plot)

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • The labels are correct @nutcutlet
    but the leaves look weird. I was glad when I saw this morning new leaves. 
    We had a very good winter. No frost and just one storm. 

    I my garden.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295
    we have had an easy winter as well. The first snow was last week and was gone by mid morning

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • pitter-patterpitter-patter Posts: 2,362
    What type of caryopteris is it? It looks more like a coprosma or something else anyway.
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