How High will it Grow?
This is the question I am often asked by people buying plants.
We have a couple of golden leylandii planted about 40 years ago as specimens which have reached about 50 feet (15 metres) tall. They reached that height in about 15-20 years then stopped growing, I am told that the green leylandii will get much bigger.
What I find much more interesting is that a Virginia Creeper has escaped and grown to within 10 feet of the top of one of the leylandii, so that must be 40 feet, is it long or tall? I only noticed it when it turned red this autumn.
We also have a dwarf conifer, Chamaecyparis Minima Aurea which has reached 8 feet tall in 40 years. It looks great but is a bit big for the average rock garden. Our largest Box plant is also about 9 feet tall.
So really what I am saying is that for most gardens trimming plants back is a good idea. Ideally pruning should start before the plants get to the ultimate size you are hoping for, to get them to fill out, then let them slowly reach the size you want. (Remember, the secret of gardening is patience.)
Then we come to feeding plants. Most self respecting garden plants can find enough nutrients in the soil and don't need feeding. It's plants in pots that need fed as they are growing in a limited space. However feeding can make them grow quicker.
You can tell when plants are hungry, they go pale and stop growing, so give them a small amount of feed. More plants are killed by over feeding than being hungry, particularly be careful with liquid feed. Never exceed the recommended strength as it will burn the leaves, I know as I have done it.