Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Are you considering planting Indian Hawthorne?


PHOTO: Snow White Indian Hawthorne (Raphiolepsis umbellata ‘Snow White’) - White, small clusters; plant grows to about 3.5’ by 3.5’.







My first blog request! And a dandy it is ….. Indian hawthorne (genus Raphiolepsis). Most Indian hawthorne are compact (although I’ve seen some Hawthorns approaching over 20’ tall), spring blooming with fragrance (showy in white or pink tones), evergreen shrub.
My subjective observations on the plant: This plant has slowly grown on me over the years. At first, there was a lack of availability in regard to numbers of and variations of Indian hawthorne varieties. Another thing I noticed that kept me from being keen on this plant is that there seemed to be a lot of under performing hawthornes out there. It has since occurred to me that Indian hawthorne is not one of those plants you dig a skimpy hole for and watch it thrive. You can do that with some easier to grow plants, like dwarf yaupon and Chinese holly, but not so much with Indian hawthorne. For instance, if I were going to plant Indian hawthorne in my front foundation planting bed, I’d probably think about adding some fresh soil (bagged or bulk) to the existing soil. The reasons for this extra soil are: (1) to create a “raised” environment (the grade sloping away from the house and the top of the plant root ball being higher than the surrounding soil) (2) to add organic material to the soil, which you will work into the existing dirt in your bed. Trust me, your hawthorne plants will appreciate the attention. Another reason I believe I've noticed so many poor looking Indian Hawthorns, in the past, is that many of them had leaf spot, and possibly, fire blight. Now, there are Raphiolepsis varieties that are disease resistant, making Indian hawthorne a much more viable choice for your garden.



PHOTO: Indian Princess Indian hawthorne (Raphiolepsis indica ‘Monto’) - Pink flower clusters that fade to white for a two color effect; plant grows about 3’ tall by about 5’ wide.









But wait! I’m getting ahead of myself, here. Will Indian hawthorne grow in the conditions I have awaiting it? Here is the recipe for good Indian hawthorne behavior:
A. Full sun to part shade - Indian Hawthorns appear to do best in full sun, although I have seen some that seemed to get too much sun, perhaps a hot afternoon sun reflecting off a sidewalk or driveway contributing to that bleached out or scorched look I’ve noticed a few times. I would say, in most instances, that 4+ hours of sunlight should be enough to make your plantings happy. Note that there is some discrepancy among nurseries on how much sun they say Raphiolepsis needs, with some stating the plant will grow in full shade. I just haven’t seen that happening and I don’t agree. Sorry big, huge wholesale nursery in South Alabama whose name I won’t mention :-)
B. Well drained, organically rich soil - thus the addition of soil to your planting bed.
C. Living within zone 7 thru 10 - This depends on variety, but you are generally safe if you live within these zone parameters. Here in North Shelby County, we are in the southern part of zone 7, so Indian hawthorne should be able to survive most anything Old Man Winter has to dish out.
D. Planting the variety that makes since for you. There are lots of species and varieties of Raphiolepsis, so I suggest you read the label carefully when buying an Indian hawthorne. Look for a type that is disease resistant, since Indian hawthornes can get leaf spot. Here are a few disease resistant varieties - Olivia, Gulf Green, Indian Princess, Snow White, Majestic Beauty, Janice, Eleanor Tabor, Jack Evans and Rosalinda. . Check and make sure the hardiness rating includes zone 7 (assuming you live in the Birmingham area) and see what size the plant you are considering will grow to. If you chose a smaller growing, compact variety, you’ll likely have little or no pruning to do for years to come.




PHOTO: Majestic Beauty Indian hawthorne (Raphiolepsis X ‘Montic’) - Pink, star shaped flowers in huge clusters; plant can grow to 15’+ tall by 12’+ wide.






PHOTO: Eleanor Tabor Indian hawthorne (Raphiolepsis umbellata ‘Conor’) - Pink, small clusters; plant grows to about 3.5’ by 3.5’.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good looking shrub. Planted one last year. I'd like to hear your thoughts on Verbenas. I find them to be THE longest and most prolific bloomers in my garden.

Anonymous said...

I've been desperately seeking expert advice on my Indian Hawthornes which we planted only two months ago. The variety is called "Clara" Raphiolepis Indica. We have been watering every other day as they are in full hot Dallas sun. We added soil, fertilizer and they were looking great at first. Now there are some that the leaves are hanging downward a bit and the leaves have curly ^v^v^v sides. I dont know if this is a case of overwatering, disease or just simply fried evergreen. I've seached the net and found nothing that could give me guidance. We have seen so many in our area that are huge healthy rounded shrubs with lovely flowers. We water with our sprinkler system, not a drip line. Seems a bit too soon to be having fungal problems. Any real experts out there? We're talking about 14 shrubs that we'd hate to lose!

who is themanfromearth? said...

Are there spots on the leaves? Leaf spot is a common problem on Indian Hawthorn, although, Clara is supposedly tolerant of leaf spot. It is mid July...if you planted these in mid May, they could be suffering some from transplant shock and/or drying out. It only takes forgeting to water for a few days in Dallas heat to have an adverse effect on Indian Hawthorn. If you are experiencing leaf spot, I'd spray with a fungicide that controls leaf spot and lists Raphiolepsis as a plant that can be treated with that particular fungicide. Other things to check....the height that you planted the root balls...if the root balls are too deep (they should be even with the existing soil line or slightly raised), then you could experience problems similar to what you are seeing. Did you slighly loosen the roots when you took the plants out of the containers? If not, I'd consider replanting the plants this fall (also, if they are planted too deeply). Are these plants getting enough sunlight? Lack of sun can cause the plants to under perform. Finally, I would cut back these plants, soon. Consider removing up to 25% of the foliage. If you prune before late July, you should get a crop of bloom buds so the plants will flower in the spring. If you want, you can send me a picture of your plants and I'd be glad to throw more than just these two cents in. harmonylandscpes@yahoo.com

Audrey Ormberg said...

We had Indian Hawthorne with pink flowers in our front yard and the landscaper said that they should have been pruned to look good (they were about 4-5 foot tall and very woody with flowers on the top only), so he replaced them with Clara Indian Hawthorne, which apparently is smaller and does not need pruning. What is the difference between the two except for height and flower colour?

themanfromearth said...

Hi Audrey,
Without knowing the scientific name of the Indian Hawthorn that you had previous to the Claras you replaced them with, it's going to be tough to tell you the difference. It sounds like you definitely had a variety of Indian Hawthorn that grows taller than Clara. There are varieties of Indian Hawthorn that can grow over 20' tall. The one thing I can say about Raphiolepis (the genus for all Indian Hawthorn) is that they do much better in full sunlight with well-drained, good soil. They also are very responsive to pruning, as long as the growing conditions are suitable. I did a little research on Clara and from what I can tell, it's a good variety that won't grow over four feet tall by four or feet wide. If you are satisfied with that being the eventual size of the plant, then I wouldn't do much pruning on them, at all. If I were to do any pruning, it would be hand pruning (not a fan of shearing in most cases, here) to remove an errant branch. Clara has white blossoms, as you mentioned, and looks to be disease resistant. From what I'm reading, Clara's new foliage would be a nice reddish color, so that's an added ornamental characteristic. There are lots of Indian Hawthorn varieties out there, from curly leaf varieties, to even more dwarf forms, to giants that can grow in excess of 20'. It's hard to say what you had previous to your landscaper replacing them, but it sounds safe to say that Clara will be a more compact variety. My experience with Indian Hawthorn has taught me to treat them somewhat like an azalea, except for planting them in sun. With azaleas and Indian Hawthorn, alike, I am always sure to dig a very well amended hole that is a good bit wider and deeper than the plant root ball that I'm installing. Then, I fill the hole back up, tamp that soil, and then place the root ball in the hole so that the top of the ball is and inch or so higher (in the case of a three gallon plant) than the surrounding soil. I don't leave the root ball exposed, I taper the back fill so that it surrounds, but is not on top of, the root ball. Then, a nice layer of mulch. If you get into a situation with these plants or other Indian Hawthorns you may have, remember, they are very responsive to pruning. Heavy pruning can be done with excellent results, especially if the plant is otherwise healthy. Lastly, Indian Hawthorns are known to be susceptible to leaf spot. Keep an eye on your plants, if you see that they look "thin" or you see spots, they may have a fungus that can be sprayed for, as long as your plants are growing in good soil and sun conditions.

anti-que said...

I have a small piece of land in front of my Birmingham, Alabama condo. Two landscapers have suggested Indian Hawthorne for a specific place (encore azelias did not prosper there)--right out front with anthony waterer spirea and a tree form ligustrum behind it. However one said be sure to get Pink Lady and the other said be sure to get Dwarf--Clara. I have looked at both and wonder what each was thinking. What do you think? It is June. Should I wait until fall to plant? The spot gets sun from 7:30-10 am and from 3:30 to 7:30 pm. We have an underground drip line on a timer to target the roots of each plant.

Anonymous said...

I planted numerous Indian Hawthornes with the expectation of a smaller mounding shrub. Wow these things have gotten so tall and no mounding at all. What is the smallest type that gives that lovely mounding look.

themanfromearth said...

Hello Anti-que and anonymous,
I apologize for my tardy response.

Anti-que, I'm impressed that your landscapers are singling out particular varieties of Indian hawthorne.

I would only plant in the summer if I were really desperate and knew I could water enough to keep the plants going until fall.
There are a lot of varieties of Indian hawthorne out there. Pink Lady and Clara are two of the more popular one's available. Both can grow to about 5' tall by 5' wide, with Pink Lady perhaps growing a little taller if allowed to. Of course, those two varieties can also be maintained, with pruning, at less than that. The biggest difference between the two is than Pink Lady has pink flowers and Clara is white. I'd let my preference in flower color be the deciding factor.

Anonymous, I have seen Indian Hawthorne plants that were well over 15' tall, so I do feel your pain. Some of these tall growing varieties would be difficult to keep controlled to less than, say, 5' or 6' feet without pruning every few months during the growing season. The two aforementioned hawthorne varieties, plus these two: Eleanor Tabor (pink) and Snow White (white), might even grow lower (4' tall by 5' wide) and have the nice mounding like Clara and Pink Lady.
I hope this helps. Thanks for visiting the blog!

Anonymous said...

I'm in Rockwall, TX...From what I've deduced, we have the umbellata minor variety of indian hawthorn growing in our front beds. I've been told that the yellowing on the lower leaves is the result of freeze damage from last winter, additionally, the plants are very spindly on the lower half, but are full and healthy on the upper half. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to stimulate growth on that lower portion? Do I need to prune them? If so when is the best time? Late winter is one idea I saw. Thanks in advance for you input! It's very appreciated.

themanfromearth said...

Hello Texas!
Yellowing of lower or internal leaves is somewhat common on evergreen plants, especially if the yellowing occurs during the summer. It could be caused from winter damage, but it may also be the plants way of shedding leaves to compensate for hot and/or dry weather. Pruning is always a good way to promote a thicker plant when it comes to Indian hawthorne. I suggest you hand prune, cutting some of the taller branches down within the canopy of the shrub. You can reduce the overall size of the shrub to any degree you like with hand pruning. The catch? Indian hawthorne sets its flower buds this year for blooming next spring. If you prune now, you may risk not getting as many blooms next year. There is a "gardening rule" that says you don't prune spring blooming plants after July 4 if you want to insure blooms next year. Personally, I think you can get away with it if you do it by mid July. And, if you selectively hand prune, you can thicken up your plant and still leave enough stems with buds behind, even it the new growth that occurs from pruning don't have enough time to set buds. As far as the best time to prune....I'd say prune after they bloom , but really, they can be pruned anytime.

Leslie Heltzen said...

Hello, my Indian Hawthorne looks really stemy and a little over grown. Please advise as to the depth of an Indian Hawthorne I should brune. The bush is over eight years old, looked great two years ago, last year look stemy this spring looks like it needs purning. Any help? Leslie

themanfromearth said...

Hi Leslie! It is my experience that Indian hawthorne is one of the more responsive plants when it comes to responding to pruning. I am an advocate of hand pruning, so with a large plant like you've got, you may want to consider cutting back about 1/4th to 1/3rd of the plants height. Remember, when pruning, to not prune your plants into a round shape. It's almost always best to allow lower branches to extend out more from the center of the plant than the upper branches. A few other things you might want to consider: Is the plant in good sunlight (1/2 day or better)? Hawthornes like sunny conditions. Could the decline of the plant be associated with disease (leaf spot or powdery mildew, both diseases are recognizable)? Is it possible that your plants are suffering from winter damage? If you live in South Alabama or Florida, for instance, that may not be an issue, but if you are near B'ham or Atlanta or more North, then that might be an issue. All in all, though, pruning is likely to give you the best chance at improving your plants condition. Feel free to follow up with additional questions. I hope I was able to help a bit. Thanks!

Despina K. said...

AWESOME! so stoked i found this blog :) we just moved to a new house (great bones) in Dallas and i'm desperately wanting to replace the existing foundation shrubs. i barely remembered having these in front of another townhouse i lived in in Dallas and looked up "shrubs that bloom" and looked through a million pics til i found out what it was. YESSS! then i was looking on care and planting info and love this piece. THANK YOU! i haven't yet transplanted them, but love the other questions/comments and the info you've provided in the blog. i guess i'll have to follow up to let you know how everything is going. incidentally, it's April 9th and i'm eager to buy and plant soon. any words of wisdom? i know i won't see the full bloom/benefit til next spring, but that's the point. THANKS!

themanfromearth said...

Thanks for the kind comments, Despina K. in Dallas! And congrats on moving into a new home. I will mention one more thing regarding your foundation plantings...be sure you know what varieties you are getting and what size they will grow to. This info will help you with the spacing of your plants as you install them. Here's an example: You decide to plant a grouping of "Indian Princess" Indian hawthorne (scientific name - Rhaphiolepsis indica 'Monto'). The info on the tag says the plant will get 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide at maturity. You decide that you will allow your plants to get a full 3' tall, but you are going to keep them at 4' wide, with the lower branches of the plants eventually touching each other without looking crowded. This look will require you to plant each of these hawthornes on 4' centers. In other words, the distance from one plant to the next should be approximately 4' (always measure from the center of one plant to the center of the next).
I say this only because I've seen some folks plant their shrubs to close to each other, which looks good to them initially, but becomes a pruning headache down the road, not to mention, the over crowding of plants reduces air circulation, which can promote insect and disease problems.

Good luck to you!

PaigeinMS said...

Hello! Thanks for all of the great info concerning Indian Hawthornes! I found your site through a google search. We recently just bought 4 and planted them and they are looking a little sad. We have lots of yellow leaves on the bottoms of the plants. I do think I need to add some miracle grow soil or something to them after reading your article. I live in MS and we have had some crazy weather since planting, so I hope they are OK.

themanfromearth said...

Sounds like it may be a case of shock. I've seen this quite a bit. A nice, lush plant is brought home from the nursery, where it was grown in optimum conditions (perfect light, consistent fertilization, very regimented watering, etc.) and into a situation in your yard where it just isn't going to mimic those conditions. If you've got these plants in the correct light, planted properly, and you are watering when it's warranted, they should be fine. A few inner (not the tips of branched) leaves yellowing is a sign that the plant is coping with a change in environment. I hope all goes well for you and thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

i planted six clara indian hawthorns out side before knowing anything about them..... big mistake!!! i planted them about a foot apart. know that im doing my home work it looks like your suppose to plant at least 4' apart! does anyone know what will happen? not only that, i thought these plants stay small, and seems like they will grow up to six feet. how can i keep them small like 3 feet tall at most!!! i know im not a gardening person, next time i will do my home work before hand!!

thanks,
ashly

themanfromearth said...

Dear Anonymous,
I would definitely consider transplanting your Clara hawthornes this upcoming fall. Clara has been known to grow 5'+ tall and wide, but it is certainly maintainable at around 3' by 3'....even a little less. Of course, 1' spacing will simply not work (over crowding of plants lead to issues with insects, disease, and unruliness). When the weather cools down, say around November, go ahead and move every other plant. I say this because I think it would almost be impossible to plant a one or three gallon plant on 1' centers. Typically, when some one says, "plant on 4' centers" or "plant 4' apart", they mean, "from the center of one plant to the center of the next". My guess is, that since these are newly bought plants, you will not have to do significant pruning before they're moved. The pruning you do should be with hand pruners, taking the longer branches down within the outer canopy of the plant (keep in mind, any pruning you do in the fall is removing the following spring's blossoms). Remember, when transplanting, always situate the root ball, whether from a container or a plant being moved, shallow (1/2 to 2 inches high, for instance).
Thanks for visiting the site and good luck!

Anonymous said...

I moved into a condo with a small patio that has a plant border container several raphiolepsis shrubs. They have just flowered and the flowers are beautiful; however, they are puny compared to the other numerous raphiolepsis bushes in our community - only about 1.5" feet tall. I want a tall shrub border for privacy but wasn't sure if I needed to be patient (I heard that mine were planted a year ago) or swap them with something else. They do have numerous white spots on the leaves, which I think is powdery mildew and I've been trying to treat it with an organic spray. Is this the cause, should I wait more, or should I dig them out? I'm also trying plant food. Thanks in advance

themanfromearth said...

It sounds to me like you might have the wrong plant for the effect you'd like to achieve. There is an awfully good plant search engine at monrovia.com. It takes into consideration the size of plant you want, the amount of sunlight your area gets, etc. While you are at it, when you remove the old planting of hawthornes, take time to rejuvenate the soil in that bed by working soil conditioner or some other organic matter into it. When you plant your new plants, be sure to follow the rules of proper planting....plant slightly shallow, lightly loosen the roots, etc. It's possible your plants haven't been doing well because they were poorly planted.
If you do decide to move the hawthornes, be sure you transplant them shallowly and into a very good soil situation. Hand pruning the hawthornes is a good idea before moving them. I'd also continue with your organic insect control.
One other note: I would suggest using granular fertilizers with woody shrubs, espcially fertilizers with an analysis that includes some of the micro nutrients, such as iron, manganese, boron and copper. You may need to go to a full service nursery to find this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this piece on the Indian Hawthorne - after browsing the web I found your blog to be the best information available.

rCar said...

I purchased gulf green hawthorne at my local Bulk hardware store. The tag on the plant gave size at 30in X 30in. I planted 3 at 30in spacing. They are full and healthy, but after 3 years there has not been one flower. I hate to remove them all, but I want flowering shrubs in that spot. Any suggestions? I thinking about removing the center one to give the others some space. R Carter, Fort Worth, Tx

Amber Munnerlyn said...

HI, I live around Ft. Worth Texas and planted a couple Indian Hawthornes two years ago, but they have only grew a couple inches and haven't flowered yet. I think I put them in too much shade, and will be transplanting them. I just wanted to see if you think they are still salvageable and if this is a good time to transport. Thanks.

themanfromearth said...

Hi Amber,
It sounds like your plants just need some sunlight and a little bit of tender loving care. I would go ahead and move your plants now. Take care not to plant in heavy clay. If you do have heavy clay, take time to dig nice sized holes and mix some organic matter (inexpensive bagged top soil sill do) in with your existing soil. Try to get a nice root ball when digging up your hawthornes and gingerly move them into their new holes, being sure to plant them a little higher than the surrounding soil (maybe by 1/2 to 1 inch high. And lastly, I would cut back on some of the larger branches which will help promote fuller new growth in the spring. Use hand pruners and only cut back on maybe 50% of the total number of branches an inch or two. I say this because your plants, if they are going to bloom, will have set their buds on last year's old growth. I'd probably water them 2x's a week, letting a good rain constitute a single watering; then keep them from drying out through next summer. I hope this helps. Feel free to get back in touch if you are so inclined!

Anonymous said...

I wish I'd seen your blog last year. I'm in Dallas and we planted 3 Clara Dwarf Indian Hawthorns last year, and well, last summer Dallas had a record number of days over 100. I thought I'd almost lost one of them, cause it shed almost all its leaves and all of them had this rust color spots on them. I babysat them a lot and this year they seem to be coming back. They've certainly had new growth.

My questions are:
(1) Are they slow growers?
(2) When we were planting them, our sprinkler pipe was all messed up, and was going at an angle under the bed, so we planted the shrubs pretty far from the wall (like 2 feet) and now it looks ugly. When is a good time to dig them up and replant them? Anything we should be careful about when doing this?
(3) Haven't seen any flowers this year, but I'm guessing it's cause it's still pretty new?

Thanks!

themanfromearth said...

Hello Dallas!
Clara is a commonly sold hawthorne variety. I would say it is a slow to slow to moderate grower. It is best to move the plant in the fall or early spring. I would prune the plant back about 25 to 50 percent before moving it. Your Clara's should bloom every year as long as they aren't in too much shade. Also, they should be pruned from mid-spring (after they bloom) until the 4th of July. If you prune later than that, you may be cutting away next year's blooms.

pgk said...

I tried to send an email to the address: harmonylandscpes@yahoo.com but that bounced back. I need some serious help and wanted to send some pictures of my hawthorn.

So some background: Planted these hawthorns last spring (they are the Clara variety) and they are full west facing and get all the afternoon/evening sun. We are in Dallas TX. So after last year's record breaking hot summer, the hawthorns were already having trouble. One specifically started with brown spots on the leaves and pretty soon lost 30-40% of its leaves. I baby sat it like crazy, and it made it thru the winter and even had some new growth this spring (so the plant is quite scrawney).

In fact, all three of my hawthorns had new growth this spring (tho no flowers this year). We've now had a week or so of 100+ degree days, and it's starting to show some signs of distress. The top leaves are all yellowing, and some of the leaves are getting brown spots. I want to avoid all the leaves falling off, so need some suggestions on what to do. Is it too hot for them? Am I over watering/underwatering? Do they have a disease of some kind? Are they lacking in Iron or Nitrogen?

Thanks for your help!

themanfromearth said...

Hi Dallas,

Sorry to hear you are having difficulties with your hawthornes.

There are many variables that might influence your plants. Certainly, the extreme heat and drought most of Texas experienced had to be tough on plants, even those that benefited from an irrigation system. Were you able to water during last summer's extreme heat and dryness? Would you consider the soil that your hawthornes are planted in to be of good quality and well-drained? In most instances, a hawthorne that is properly planted (not planted deep and the root ball "teased" just a bit before planting) and is planted in good, loamy soil,,, well, that plant should do pretty well. Typically, when I see stunted leaves or leaf spot on hawthornes, it is because the plant is stressed out due to either poor soil conditions, poor drainage, too much shade, over crowding, lack of water, or it is planted too deeply. I'm not ruling out that the extreme heat has pushed them a little too far, but we've had 100 to 105 temps in Alabama the past week and I have not seen poor looking hawthornes as long as they were getting adequate irrigation. So, what can you do to salvage your hawthorne? One thing I'd probably do is clean out the old mulch under those plants, including old leaves that have fallen off the plants. They probably have some leaf spot on them so throwing them in the trash will at least remove one possible problem source. I'd then put new mulch back under your plants because your plants should have a couple of inches of mulch covering their root balls. Also, consider cutting your plants back. If your plants are just tired, but healthy, sometimes pruning them back will encourage the emergence of new, healthy looking leaves (best to finish pruning before mid-July). Also, consider using a granular fertilizer on your plants. Follow the directions and trying using a granular fertilizer that has some of the micro-nutrients, like Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, and Copper. If this is a fungal problem as opposed to a physiological one, then you may need to spray your plants with a fungicide. To get a most accurate analysis of your situation regarding a possible fungus, take some samples of the infected leaves and send them off to your state extension service. Here in Alabama, that service costs ten dollars and is well worth it. Also, feel free to send me some photos. I'll help out the best I can. Take care,

Rob

pgk said...

What's a good email to send you pictures?

Anonymous said...

I have dozens of 10-yr old Olivia Indian Hawthorn shrubs along the woodsy side of my yard, as well as along part of the driveway. I live in northeast Georgia which has suffered a few years of drought, although this past year has not been as severe. I notice that the very long stems that have grown up the side of the house have little root-looking arms along the bottom of the branches. Can I start new bushes with these cuttings? If so, how best to go about it? Thank you.

themanfromearth said...

Hi NE GA! Yes, you can! Just cut the stem so that you have at least six inches of stem with roots and about the same or a little more of stem with at least a few leaves on it, but probably not more than a dozen leaves. Plant directly into the ground or into a pot (although, in a pot, there may be some issues with cold damage unless you take precautions to protect your potted hawthorns). I think you will have success transplanting these stems. You might also consider leaving some of those stems on your plants until Spring, just in case you do have issues with a cold Winter. I would be sure to put a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch around the plants you move this Fall. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Again From Texas! Austin to be exact. You have so much info on Indian Hawthorne, this is great!
My question is: We planted three IH shrubs in too much shade. It is mid-May and I am wondering if it is too late to move them. I think we have a variety known as "Indian Princess". They have been in their current location for about two years. The drought is bad here and they probably do not have great root systems. The location I am considering moving them to gets quite a bit of westerly sun. What is your recommendation? I would be able to keep on top of the watering if we move them. Thanks!

themanfromearth said...

Hello Austin!
I don't know about you guys, but here in Alabama, we have been unseasonably cool. I'd probably try moving the plant if it were me, knowing I'd be watering when it was needed. I would make this suggestion...cut your hawthorn back, almost by one half, before digging them. This will lessen the transplant shock and encourage new growth in a few weeks, which should look much better now that your plants will be in more sunlight. Now, if you have already gotten into consistent hot weather, I might think about a Fall transplant. It's a judgement call and you are right on the cusp of whether it is more prudent to wait or go ahead.

Usha said...

I live in the New Orleans area and had a beautiful pink hawthorn tree in my back yard it grew to be about 20-25 ft tall. It died 2 years ago. The tree was about 25 yrs old. I replaced it with another pink hawthorn tree and after hurricane Isaac it never recovered and has now died. It shed all its leaves after the hurricane and this spring it put out a few leaves and flowers which promptly wilted. The leaves turned orange and then black. I pruned the tree back severely but am not seeing signs of life. I would like to replace it with another. What precautions should I take? thank you.

tiggiesmom said...

Our lawn people have severely pruned my gorgeous indian hawthorn plants, sheared them to be exact. They were so lovely and full and perfect and just in a few moments they are about 1/2 the size and poorly shaped. Do I have any chance of seeing them grow into lovely plants again?

themanfromearth said...

Hi Usha,
I'm sorry you lost your old tree and the most recent one. Be sure you give your cuts time. I'd scratch the bark to see if you've got green as an indication of whether the plant has a chance of coming back. I'm not sure there is a precaution that can be taken against hurricane force winds. Maybe trying to pick a location that protects your plant from those prevailing winds would help. Perhaps staking your tree would also be helpful. Selecting an improved variety would be something else to look at. Rosalinda is a newer large growing hawthorn that you might consider. If I were really wanting to do what ever I could to save a plant where hurricanes and super storms might be an issue, I might also consider pruning the plant before the storm hits. I feel like I'm grasping at straws, but I hope this helps. Good luck!

themanfromearth said...

Hello Tiggiesmom,
That is sad what they did to your plants. Do I even own power shears? Let me check......nope! There is hope, though. I think your plants will come out of this, but they will be squared off looking. Not good. I would go in and cut back some more so that the plants look rounded. Be sure to prune so that the branches lowest to the ground are also furthest from the center of the plant...imagine a half circle. I think you'll have your plants looking good very soon.

Oklahoman said...

I planted Olivia Indian hawthorns around my house seven years in Edmond, Oklahoma. From blazing hot sun to ice-covered, they always look great. It's my understanding they are drought-resistant, cold-resistant and leave spot-resistant. My problem is I want more, and can not find them anywhere in the state of Oklahoma or on the internet.

themanfromearth said...

Hi Oklahoman,
I don't see it in nurseries with listings in your area, but I would try this. Give a call to some of the bigger landscape companies and nurseries where you live and ask to speak to their buyer. These guys should know how to get you some Olivia. Also, you can call a grower like Pender or Flowerwood and see if they do deliveries into your area. You might be able to talk a nursery into getting a few things, including the Olivia. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Many years ago I planted 6 Indian Hawthorns under the shade of an Oak tree to fill in a space. They did OK for many years and then one day a storm took the tree down along with our house. House rebuilt, more sun and water for the I/Hs and they have grown to large for the space. I will put up with them because they are only doing what comes naturally but they are blocking the view to back out of my driveway. Is there any was to prune the height without harming them or destroying their appearance

themanfromearth said...

Hello there. Yes, large hawthorns can be pruned back, even severely, and still look natural. Not using shears is definitely one step in the right direction. I would step back and look at your plants and determine to what height you want to prune to. If there are branches that are not exceeding that height, leave them and then cut the taller branches down inside the canopy of un-pruned branches (this may require the use of loppers or a pruning saw for larger limbs...it's fine, though, as Indian hawthorns are very responsive to pruning). Remember when pruning not to "lollypop" your plants. The branches closest to the ground should be further out from the center of the plant than those in the middle...kind of like a Christmas tree, but rounded. So, to answer your question in another way....yes, just hand prune and make cuts at varying heights. And don't be afraid to cut back heavily. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! Mine have grown together into a hedge and is really very attractive. I also had to cut the sides back to keep them from taking over the driveway by cutting the longest branches off back up inside the plant so they no longer have that christmas tree shape you mentioned. I assume we are talking about doing this in the early spring which comes about late February here in central GA. Thanks

themanfromearth said...

Hey Central GA,
You are right on the cusp of when to prune hawthorns. If you aren't concerned with next year's blooms, you could definitely get away with making cuts that are less than, oh, 1/3 to 1/2 inch or less. In other words, those cuts should produce new growth before the end of the growing season, as long as you make the cuts before,,,,hmmmm, maybe August 10 or so. Now, you might not get next year's flower buds, but you might. July 4th has always been a rule of thumb for some, but I've gotten away with pruning hawthorns and azaleas into August and still had flower buds form from the new growth that resulted a few weeks later.
As far as pruning the sides, I would do what you say you are doing, but that shouldn't result in the sides looking like they are wide in the middle and slanted in toward the plant at the bottom. That would result in a leggy plant, potentially. You can think of a half circle. The lowest branches are longer than the middle branches which are longer than the tallest branches. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Help help help! I have a crazy neighbor and had to install a fence on our property line to stop all her craziness but because of city rules, it could only be a 2.5 ft high decorative fence (not enough in my book!) Now I would like to plant Indian Hawthorne against it to add additional height. Do you think the Hawthorne will do well against a cedar fence 2.5 feet tall? Further, they would get sun (coming over the fence) from the neighbor's side (a driveway) because on my side, they will be slightly shaded by my elm trees. They will be planted in a flowerbed which I water by hand every other day. Do you think they would get enough sun? Finally, i heard they sre slow to grow. Can I use special plant food to make it grow faster? Thank you from the home of the Dallas Cowboys. Mariel1951

themanfromearth said...

Hi Marie,
You can push your hawthorns with a good tree and shrub fertilizer that has micro-nutrients such as iron, boron, magnesium, etc., but I don't think that is going to make those plants super human. Other things you can do is to plant them properly....plant slightly shallow, tease the roots, water properly, plant them in good sunlight, etc. Majestic Beauty is a variety of Indian hawthorn that grows pretty large. I think it would be a good choice. You didn't mention how wide your bed it. Majestic Giant grows fairly wide. I would suggest looking at Ocala anise (Illicium parviflorum) as a possible alternative plant. If performs well in light shade or full sun and will give you some screening fairly quickly. I wish you the best! BYW...Nice victory against the Giants...I've followed the Cowboys closely since the days of "Too Tall Jones" and even Bob Hayes.