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Siberian Pea Shrub woes  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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I'm not sure what is going on with my pea shrubs but a lot of them got so tall and leggy that every "trunk" is bent over and touching the ground.  They are in nearly full sun so I'm not sure what happened.  I'm planning to wait until they go dormant and prune them down heavily, probably to 2 or 3 ft height.  Right now they are 10 ft or more, and only about 3 years old, so they grew crazy fast.  Anyone seen this before? 
 
pollinator
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Todd Parr wrote:I'm not sure what is going on with my pea shrubs but a lot of them got so tall and leggy that every "trunk" is bent over and touching the ground.  They are in nearly full sun so I'm not sure what happened.  I'm planning to wait until they go dormant and prune them down heavily, probably to 2 or 3 ft height.  Right now they are 10 ft or more, and only about 3 years old, so they grew crazy fast.  Anyone seen this before? 



I have the opposite problem of them not being vigorous.

I bought fifteen seeds, stuck them in the freezer for forty days and then soaked them in hot water overnight.   Three of the seeds were floaters. By the time they were 2", nine remained.  When I got around to planting I was down to five.     I hope I get at least one to last into spring. 

I don't have specifics on this plant but generally, plants get leggy with too much nitrogen or not enough sun (you said they are in full sun so probably not the issue).  I've noticed that some plants will get leggy when they have ideal growing conditions...maybe they need some tough love.  I would reduce fertilizer and prune them way back.

All that said maybe pea shrubs are just leggy when they are immature.   Bamboo sleeps the first year, creeps the second, and leaps the third.  Maybe you have something like that going on....

S
 
gardener
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Todd Parr wrote:every "trunk" is bent over and touching the ground. 



When I do an image search for "Siberian Pea Shrub" many of the photos show a "weeping" growth habit. Seems like it might be a common trait for the species.
 
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When I do an image search for "Siberian Pea Shrub" many of the photos show a "weeping" growth habit. Seems like it might be a common trait for the species. 

  Yes.  Where they are commonly used (I've seen many in the Canadian Prairies), the plants tend to be planted in hedgerows where the adjacent plants support each other to maintain a more vertical pattern.  Still the outer sides droop outward and are then trimmed for fodder.   
 
Todd Parr
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That being the case, it seems like a good bush to try making a portion of my living fence with.
 
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