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How to Grow a Caragana Hedge

The Caragana plant is also known as the Siberian Pea Tree or Siberian Peashrub. It is a large deciduous shrub that can grow as high as 16 feet high and 12 feet wide if not pruned. The shrub grows very fast when it is young and can live over 50 years in ideal conditions. In the spring, small yellow flowers grow and are followed by pods that form in June to July. The pods contain the seeds, that when mature burst out of the pod making a popping sound. The seeds are edible and the plant is easy to grow in gardening zones 2 through 7.

Choose a location that has full sun to partially shady in the morning. Plan planting for spring after the last threat of frost is over.

Dig holes twice as wide and 2 inches deeper than the root ball. Add two handfuls of compost to the dug out soil and 4 handfuls of course sand if your soil does not drain well. Space holes 5 to 10 feet apart to create a hedge. The closer you put them, the faster you will have the hedge, but the more pruning you will need to do.

Place 2 inches of amended soil back in the hole and put the plant in the center of the hole. Fill in around the root ball with amended soil and water to settle the dirt down. Then fill with more soil where it has settled. Hand tamp the soil down tightly.

Water well immediately after planting and then every other day for the first 2 weeks. This will establish the roots. Cut back watering to twice a week for the next 2 weeks and then once a week from then on unless the weather is very hot and dry.

Place a slow release fertilizer tablet or granules around the plant once you start to see growth. Water the fertilizer in and don't allow it to touch the trunk of the plant. You will only need to fertilize once a year in the spring.

Prune the plant to shape it at the height and depth that you want your hedge. The best time to prune is late winter to very early spring. As the plants start to grow together, forming the hedge, prune the sides to allow for air circulation.

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