Garrya needs no maintenance to speak but they can get large, up to 4 metres, and an equal spread when mature. Garrya can be regarded as a large garden shrub, almost a small tree. Males have the most ornamental tassels, and 'James Roof' has the RHS merit award which is always a good sign to look for when selecting a garden shrub or plant. The catkin like tassels on James Roof can be up to 35 cms making an impressive winter show. If the shrub is damaged in a bad winter you can prune out the browned leaves. Unfortunately, it can be a difficult shrub to move as Garrya resent transplanting.
Garrya does not require pruning, and it is not recommended to prune it hard. This means it is difficult to contain the size of the shrub by pruning and it best grown where there is enough space to accommodate it as a large shrub. Garrya is pruning group 8 which refers to evergreen shrubs which flower between winter and early spring on the previous year's growth.
The general rule when pruning Garrya is to do so early to mid-spring just after the display of tassels is finished.
The late winter tassels are formed over the previous months, which makes it important to prune after the tassels have finished. Pruning earlier will risk cutting away the wood on which the tassels are forming and miss a years flower. Garrya can be tidied up to remove any dead branches and to create symmetry.
As the images below show, Garrya is an eye-catching shrub and which looks great in the winter. It combines well with other winter shrubs such as Cotoneaster horizontalis and with Cornus both with red stems (above right ) C, alba 'Sibirica'and yellow stems (below right), C. sericea Flaviramea.
The Tassels are interesting, viewed in close up as the images below illustrate.