Snowberry Hancock or Symphoricarpos Hancock is a true garden workhorse! This tough, hardy plant will grow almost anywhere and rewards the gardener with season-long interest. Native to North America, Symphoricarpos Hancock is a low-growing shrub with arching canes which will root where they come in contact with the ground, creating an even denser and spreading ground cover. In spring, the small, oval blue-green leaves emerge, and in summer the small, delicate bell-shaped pink or white flowers appear, which will attract butterflies to your garden as they feast on the nectar. By autumn, the berries mature to a showy white dotted with red, and will remain into the winter months. While toxic to humans, they will bring birds to your garden in the winter, and are also used in winter indoor flower arrangements.
Symphoricarpos Hancock is reliably winter-hardy throughout the UK. Over a period of 10 to 20 years it will grow to a height and spread of 2.5 metres. If planting as a ground cover, plant 3 per square metre. Snowberry Hancock will need little or no pruning to maintain healthy, vigorous growth, although it can be cut back if necessary. Cutting old stems back to the base will maintain a compact growth habit in a small space. Disease and pest-resistant, it is an ideal low-maintenance choice for problem spots in your landscape!
Snowberry Hancock will grow in full sun, partial or full shade, in any soil type, whether dry or poorly drained. Once established it is will tolerate drought. It will thrive in an exposed location, and its extreme tolerance of pollution makes it a great choice for urban landscaping. Resistant to deer, it is a good choice in a country setting.
Symphoricarpos Hancock is perfect for mass plantings on a difficult slope for erosion control, where once it is established it will need little or no maintenance. With some annual pruning, it will make a low, bushy, informal hedge to provide screening and attract birds and butterflies to your garden. One or two tucked in a weedy, shady corner will smother weeds and provide reliable ground cover. In an exposed sunny dry spot along a drive, Snowberry Hancock will be a perfect low-maintenance solution.
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