Shortstop’s Shrub Makeover

We’ve spoken many times before about the power and effectiveness of Shortstop 2SC in shrubs and trees. This powerful plant growth regulator promotes the underground growth of fine root hairs while encouraging shorter branches and thicker, greener leaves. The benefits include increased nutrition uptake, greater resistance to diseases and pests, and less maintenance and trimming. But visual makeover can’t be overlooked. It’s crucial to what Shortstop does. And with flowers, it’s at least half the appeal!

We have very specific aesthetic needs when it comes to flowering shrubs and other flowering plants. We want just the right colors and high numbers of blooms, the flowers placed just so. Not too tall, branches not too leggy. Dense enough flowers and leaves, giving the right burst of color. While you could trim and cut and shape flowering shrubs until they’re just right, that can be imprecise and take a lot of work and upkeep. Shortstop is the answer to all these concerns. Here’s a visual demonstration of why you’ll want to recommend Shortstop to customers and homeowners (and it’ll benefit you too).

We treated some lilac bushes in Arborjet’s test garden with different doses of Shortstop 2SC to test the effects on this stunning seasonal flower. We had an untreated control group, and a test group treated with a foliar spray.

In April 2021, you can see some difference between the treated and untreated lilacs. Although the buds are just starting to develop, you can see the leaves on the sprayed bush (right) are closer together than the ones on the control (left). Maybe a year of growth will show off more of a difference. So we checked in this spring…

Look at that! A year shows an incredibly pronounced difference between the treated and untreated plants. The untreated control (right) is almost 6 feet tall, with widely spaced leaves and buds, and those branches are so long! I’m not sure who would want a shrub with such long branches and sparse leaves.

resized untreated leggy

The treated plant is looking great. About 4 feet tall, densely packed leaves and flowers without being too tight. The buds haven’t fully developed and they’re already looking very presentable!

resized treated lilacs whatever

The plants treated with foliar spray hit the sweet spot, growth constrained just enough for maximum visual effect. Foliar spray is an easier application method than soil drench too, making this our choice for how to best treat flowering shrubs. Foliar spray treatment should be done in the spring, just before or right when leaf expansion happens.

The benefits to the plant, the applicator, and the home owner are numerous. Besides better visuals, the denser greener leaves are more resistant to pests and leaf diseases, which means less time spent on pesticide treatments. Treated plants will require fewer visits for shrub maintenance and upkeep, which should keep homeowners happy. There won’t be as much need to trim unruly branches back and hope the plant will still look good. And it’s overall less work for service providers. Win, win win.

This is great for gardeners and landscapers who have specific visions for their home and lawn. Less time and labor spent getting the perfect plants is good news, and they’ll be healthier and in better shape to boot. Consider using Shortstop 2SC on your flowering shrubs and lilacs for this growing season and next spring.