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I purchased a "Y-hibiscus starter" from the tropical island's shop today. After some research I discovered that this would grow into a new class of plants -- bushes. Do bushes have the same growing patterns and restrictions as trees? For example, can they be planted near structures? Can they be planted next to each other?

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I'm currently doing experiments with bushes (cost me a fortune too, don't say I don't love y'all), and will be able to give an answer tomorrow morning. I'll post my findings then as an answer to this question. –  Nathan Sabruka Jun 17 '13 at 17:35
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up vote 14 down vote accepted
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Okay, so I did a few experiments in the past few days, and I will post what I found and what I didn't. For reference, when I say "adjacent tiles" I mean the three tiles above, the three tiles below and the two tiles on each side of the bush.

  • You can plant bushes alone in the village. By that I mean that you can plant bushes anywhere in the main village if all its adjacent tiles are free.
  • You cannot plant bushes on the beach. The two attempts at doing so have failed, so I conclude that it can't be done.
  • You can plant bushes next to each other. I've attempted to plant a row of bushes, as well as three bushes in an L pattern, and both attempts succeeded. I don't know if you can plant a square of bushes (4 or 9 or + bushes), but I have no reason to think you cannot. I didn't do the test because I ran out of bushes, but if I can I'll test this and update this answer.
  • You can plant bushes next to a tree. An attempt at planting a bush right next to a tree succeeded, so I conclude that it can be done.
  • You cannot plant bushes adjacent to a river tile. I planted a bush next to a straight river going North-South, and it wouldn't grow.
  • You cannot plant bushes adjacent to a cliff. Self-explanatory.
  • You cannot plant bushes adjacent to a building or a public works project. In my opinion this is the most important test. I planted a bush at the following four locations: next to my house, next to Re-Tail's, directly above a lamppost and above-left the same lamppost (so left of the previous bush). All of these wilted. My conclusion is that you cannot plant bushes adjacent to a building or a public works project.
    Note: This last test cost me upwards 40'000 bells and 4 days to build/remove the lamppost and obtain the bushes. I strongly advise against attempting to reproduce this experiment due to the cost in time/money.
  • Bushes can grow in a connection of 12 at most. This includes trees and stumps, vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. If a bush or a tree is planted near a sequence of twelve bushes/trees/stumps touching each other, that thirteenth sapling will not grow.

Other than these I haven't seen any limitations in where to plant bushes. Obviously since you need to dig a hole in order to plant a bush, you cannot plant a bush anywhere you cannot dig a hole (maybe I should've added that above, but oh well).

Hope this helps!

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Dang, I really wanted to plant bushes around my fountain too. :( –  FAE Jun 23 '13 at 23:05
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I tried to plant about seven along the "cliff" above the beach and they all had wilted the next morning. My guess is that, similar to planting next to the river, bushes cannot be planted along "cliffs".

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I have found that you do not need to dig a hole to plant bushes or tree saplings from Lief, only fruit needs to be buried to produce a tree.

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