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Horizontally growing shrubs

Hello, I am a new gardener and last year I bought a number of bushes to make a flowering bush screen, with the idea of growing to a hight of six or seven feet. A number of the bushes are growing horizontally, like ground cover and I have no idea why. Forsythia and Wilegia are the worst culprits and I have two of each. I'm  totally perplexes and need advice please anyone. 


  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,574

    Are the shrubs under a large tree? They can tend to creep sideways in search of light if it is in short supply.

  • Laraine2Laraine2 Posts: 12

    Hello. The forsythia is growing along a timber fence which is otherwise open, and the others are planted in open ground. I would not say they suffered from lack of light, others are doing all right in similar situations.   Thanks for your help

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,574

    Sounds as though you will have to be firm with these shrubs and stake them. Let them know who's boss.

  • Laraine2Laraine2 Posts: 12

    Thanks for that,. I guess they know I'm a newbie and are trying it on. I'll take them in hand then. I really thought I would have to replace them. Thanks again. 

  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,264

    Hi Laraine,

    When you come to prune them (check online for the right time for each shrub), make sure you prune to an upwards facing bud. That way the new growth will be pointing in the direction you want it to go.

    There is a saying "growth follows the knife" ... so be bold when you prune  ... it will pay off.

    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348

    Hi Laraine - just another thought to add to the others. I don't know what size of shrubs you've planted, but sometimes they can be rootbound in their pots - especially if they weren't well watered before and after planting. It then prevents them from getting their roots out into the surrounding ground, making it hard to thrive and grow strongly, hence the lax growth. 

    It's a long shot but worth considering   image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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