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Could Your Shrubs and Hedges Benefit From a Growth Regulator This Spring?

By Bradley Hill, Hoppe Plant Health Care Manager and Certified Arborist WI-1235A

Winter weather can leave shrubs and hedges looking less than their best. You may see brown or yellow discoloration, and that is a strong indicator of winter burn. This is caused by the leaves drying out from cold, dry winter winds and can occur from salt damage. Shrubs such as arborvitaes, yews, and English garden plants like boxwoods are especially prone to this type of winter stress. Now is the time to consider a growth regulator treatment for your plants. There’s more to a growth regulator than the name might suggest!


Growth regulators are used to extend the life of shrubs, hedges and trees by slowing vegetative growth. This allows the plant to redirect energy from leaf and canopy growth into increases in their fine fibrous absorbing roots, and increasing the cell walls on the leaf, which reduces the effects of winter and summer stress. Our Plant Health Care experts often apply a foliar growth regulator treatment in tandem with fertilization to enhance the health impacts of both treatments.


Growth regulators also help plants put more energy into defense mechanisms for increased resistance to insects and diseases. The end result of applying both a growth regulator and a fertilizer is a fuller, more vibrant plant with better color, more flowers, and less pruning needed for a neat, natural look.


Our certified arborists often recommend an annual growth regulator treatment in the spring, and the timing of treatment is critical. Growth regulators are typically applied early in the spring before a lot of new growth occurs. For hedges, the optimal time is about one month after pruning.


If you have a concern about your shrubs or hedges, get in touch with us. Our certified arborists can visit your yard to evaluate plant health. They will recommend a treatment program, if needed, to bring out your plants’ natural beauty. Request a quote.

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