Ask the gardening expert
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I saw some plants that would look cute next to my house. The only problem is, the tag said they will become 20 feet tall. Could I cut them back?
Don’t make trouble for yourself. Check with nursery personnel when adding plants, as you need to think about the eventual size and possible maintenance problems. Be sure the plant is the right size for the space, not when planted, but after it’s grown. For instance, Douglas firs look cute for their first five years but will turn into 50-foot monsters by the time they are teenagers.
Choices for foundation planting include rhododendron, azalea, daphne and hydrangea, although the range of options is huge. Ask for advice from nursery staff. They will ask you a few question about exposure to sun, and other details, to find the right plant for the right place.
Celeste Lindsay is a WSU master gardener. Send questions to email@example.com.