Snowberry advice needed

We have an old, spreading snowberry bush in full sun. It seems healthy and has flowers at the end of its branches, but not down the stems.  Another, younger bush has flowers in the leaf joints down the stems. Should we cut back the old bush drastically to encourage more flowers? The old bush has suckers, should they be allowed to grow or be cut out? I was under the impression that suckers take energy from the parent plant. This is a bit complicated!  I hope someone knows! Ultimately we want more flowers on the old bush. 


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,230

    Suckers are just shoots coming from the root, they are part of the plant here. but can be a nuisance when they appear in the middle of the border. Snow berry can be cut right to the ground and will come back

    Troublesome suckers are when the root is different to the top growth (eg roses), the rootstock is a stronger grower than the top. Growth from that rootstock will take over.

  • Thank you, Nut. I'll try that in a few weeks when the berries look a bit old! It is quite pretty and the bees love it.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,230

    The bees and others do love it don't they.image

    I'd cut it when the berries are gone as well, they're food

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,619

    It's often used to provide food and cover for pheasants etc during the autumn and winter.  It gets cut down to ground level in the very early spring and regenerates quickly forming dense undergrowth - if it's getting too dense either dig out some of the suckers, or remove the old plant and let the newer growth spread.

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Oh yes, I'd forgotten the pheasants and bird food. Oops image. Thanks for the reminders - I'll wait till next spring!

  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Central southern Scotland Posts: 3,079

    We use our crop of snow berries as a windbreak, works a treat and wildlife love it.

    i would never take it out. 

    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,407

    if its old and looking leggy you can cut it back hard (and by hard I mean knee high!) in early spring, you might not get any berries that year but it'll be three feet tall by the end of the year. remove any suckers you find as it spreads fast.

    I've been removing it form a woodland where I volunteer (it was planted 20 years ago for wildlife and has in fact taken over and killed most of the native ground flora) the only way I've got rid of it is to cut it down in spring and glyphosate the regrowth mid summer (and deal with the collateral damage of the natives) - so its a hardy blighter, chopping it wont do it any harm! image

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