Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Some Shrubs Should Come With a Warning Label

My Rubus lineatus has produced five suckers this year. When I bought it and looked it up online, I don't remember reading anything about it suckering so freely. (In contrast to all the warnings I saw about Tetrapanax, which so far hasn't suckered at all.)

Rubus lineatus in the gravel garden, directly to the left of the gabion pillar

I really should have known, given that it's a Rubus, which means it's a type of bramble/raspberry/blackberry relative. They came up pretty easily, possibly because they're still small. The roots that they were attached to were just under the surface. I potted up the three biggest ones and I'm going to see if maybe I can grow them on in pots and give them away at some point.

Five suckers growing up from the roots in the gravel

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

It's a wonderfully garden-worthy plant, with its pleated foliage that has a silvery underside. It's supposed to also get raspberry-like berries, but I haven't seen any sign of that yet. It has also proven to be drought-tolerant, because I've only watered it once this summer.

Lovely pleated leaves of Rubus lineatus, with the silvery underside of a new leaf emerging on the left

I'll have to keep on top of it and remember to check every year for more suckers, because I really don't want that bed to fill up with an entire grove of them. And now I'm also worried that pulling them up will stimulate the mother shrub to produce even more, rather like pruning stimulates branch growth. Removing them was painless, but still...finding them was a surprise.




15 comments:

  1. I love the foliage! I'm going to get in line for one of the offspring right now. (Did you still want a start of my black bamboo or is one semi-invasive enough for you now?)

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  2. Mine has been suckering this summer, first time. I tried to pot two up , both died, could have been too hot this year...I'm sure I'll have more to try out.

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  3. That foliage is gorgeous! It would be a shame if it turns out to be a garden thug for you.

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  4. I'm not going to jinx it by saying that mine hasn't suckered, because then it will probably start... But it has filled its allotted space, and I did box it in a little. Perhaps that's why... Anyway, if you have enough after everyone in Tacoma have gotten one, would you mind bringing one to the Plant Swap? My neighbor has patiently been waiting for mine to send up shoots, to no avail. He would love one! Thanks! :)

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  5. It's such a fun plant that you can forgive it a little suckering, right?

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  6. Hi Alison! I don't have this one in my collection, but my young tetrapanax already produced a baby! Go figure!

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  7. Wow, that one is so beautiful it almost seems worth it to deal with even the worst suckering (says the person who doesn't have to deal with the suckers).

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  8. Mine is suckering a bit. too, but in previous years, when I have had this shrub, it has died during the winter. I might move it out to "the bogsy wood' if it gets to be a problem.

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  9. I was just reading a Portland Nursery post on Facebook about Chinese Lanterns. Someone mentioned that they're spreaders and so I piped up with my tales of woe about my neighbor's running bamboo and English ivy. Interestingly, my Tetrapanax only did the underground running thing after I chopped it back to the ground this past spring. There have been several babies, too many to count. I would love to buy one of your Rubus starts. I wish we lived closer. Such a beautiful leaf! Lucky girl you are.

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  10. I agree that it should come with a warning label. But, I Iove it so.

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  11. Huh, interesting. It's a fascinating plant, though. I really like the foliage! If I lived closer, I'd love a start. Your last photo really shows the beauty of the plant!

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  12. Mine has berries this year and although they're small they are tasty! Also I've found that removing the babies doesn't result in even more suckers, unlike the Tetrapanax.

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  13. It's doing the same here so it must be happy. Will try to prop some more, or even see if I can remove some of the suckers with some of the roots still intact so can give them away next year.

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  14. I really like those leaves, which seem so different from any rubus I know. I have lots of suckering shrubs - elderberry, grey dogwood, etc. - but I just cut the suckers down when they appear.

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  15. I planted one blackberry and in 2 years have about 10 popping up all over...time to pull them and keep control. I had no idea. I think they need to go into the wooded area of the meadow.

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