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What Are the Best Tips for Growing Hawthorn Bushes?

Ladybugs can keep hawthorn bushes from harmful bugs.
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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2014
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The best tips for growing hawthorn bushes are related to keeping the bushes healthy and not injuring oneself in the process. This kind of plant is vulnerable to dozens of diseases and pests, some of which can kill the plant before it is well established. In addition, hawthorn species are not plants a person should touch with bare hands because of their sharp thorns. Even trimming the plant should be done with caution to avoid having the arms or hands scratched or punctured in the process.

Hawthorn bushes suffer from a lot of the same diseases and pests rose bushes do. This kind of bush is related to roses, so this is to be expected. The bush will need treatment if it develops black spots, powdery substances on the underside of its leaves, or black-brown leaves that appear burned. In general, the same chemicals used on rose bushes work on hawthorn bushes, but it might not be safe to eat the bush’s berries after applying potentially harmful chemicals.

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If a hawthorn bush is pruned too early, it might not bloom the following year. Unless a gardener prefers the bush not to grow flowers and berries, he or she should not prune it until it is finished blooming. In North America, hawthorn trees are usually done blooming by June or July. Its blooming period varies, however, based on the weather. Diseased branches should be cut off as soon as possible, though, to avoid having the disease spread to other branches and potentially kill the plant.

Avoiding injury should be a priority when growing hawthorn bushes. This bush has thorns, and some equipment used to grow and maintain it can be dangerous when used improperly. If the variety of hawthorn bush being grown does not have thorns, it is less dangerous. One step that can be taken to prevent injury is to wear protective clothing whenever working in close contact with the plant. In addition, while protective clothing can help a person stay safe, it cannot replace common sense and caution.

Many insects damage hawthorn bushes, and learning which insects are harmful and which are neutral or potentially helpful can be beneficial. The gypsy moth, a pest very prevalent in some parts of the world, feeds on the hawthorn bush. When this pest is a caterpillar, it is brown and gray with a fuzzy appearance; adult moths are red and brown. Furthermore, the small green aphid bug eats the leaves of hawthorn bushes. On the other hand, ladybugs are red beetles with black spots that are beneficial to the hawthorn bush because they eat some harmful bugs.

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