Plug-rooted liners of deutzia (Deutzia gracilis), dogwood (Cornus alba `Argenteo-marginata'), forsythia (Forsythia×intermedia `Lynwood Gold'), and ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) were grown in 6-L containers. There were 36 different treatment substrates formulated in factorial combinations: two types of paper mill sludge (raw or composted) each at three rates (25%, 33%, or 50%, by volume) mixed with one of three sources of municipal waste compost (cities of Guelph, Toronto, or Waterloo; 25%, 33%, or 50%), and the remainder consisting of one of two base supplements (pine bark or 1-year-old wood chips; 50%, 33%, or 0%). The containers were trickle-irrigated and fertilized with a controlled-release fertilizer. Dogwood (no treatment interaction and responding only to the main effect of compost sources) grew equally well with Toronto and Waterloo composts, but less well with the Guelph compost. Ninebark tended to grow better with Toronto compost, intermediate or similar with Waterloo compost, and least with Guelph compost. Forsythia grew equally well in all bark-based substrates, regardless of sludge type and rate or compost source. With wood-chip-based substrates, however, forsythia grew better with Waterloo than with Guelph compost, and better with raw than with composted sludge when mixed with Toronto compost. Deutzia responded similarly to most substrates, but grew marginally better with raw than with composted paper sludge when Waterloo or Toronto compost was present. Despite these differences in species responses, all plants were of marketable size at the end of the season. There was no sign of nutrient toxicity or deficiency due to any of the substrates.