Help Pruning Desert Rose - First Time

TropicalKJanuary 13, 2013

I am in zone 10a. This plant was a gift from a friend. I've had it for about a year, and it seems now that it is overdue for a pruning. Just seeking advice on how to go about it, and which branches should go, which should stay, or how far back in general to prune it. One branch is seeding, so I plan to leave that alone until it's done, but it's already warming up down here in South Florida so all my plants seem to think it's Spring (my Plumeria are already shooting out new growth). I figure it's not long before this plant starts sending out a lot of new growth, so I think now is the time to prune? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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karyn1(7a)

I would prune away all the small thin branches. Maybe leave the 3 longest lower branches and couple long top ones growing off the main stems. Definitely leave the stem with the seed pod alone for now, until the pod ripens. It would help to see the plant from different views to really determine what should be pruned. I wish I knew how to copy the pic and write my own lines on it but have no idea how to do that. You should prune it to please your eye.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:46PM
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Tolip(Tropical)

I would wait until the seed pods are harvested before pruning.

Would also replant it with the stem straight up before hard pruning it. Just my preference.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 10:18PM
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karyn1(7a)

Leaving the entire plant alone until the pod has ripened might be a better idea. That looks like it was grown from a cutting and doesn't have an enlarged caudex. If so I'd leave it growing at an angle to give it more interest but like the previous poster said it's a personal preference. Good luck with whatever you do.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 8:30AM
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ltran54(9)

Karyn, you have good eyes. I was thinking about the cutting too. With the size of the plant with no caudex....very likely it was a cutting.
Marie

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 6:48PM
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adenium1949

Hi,
Don't call it "pruning", call it "shaping" and you will get a better result.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:50AM
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TropicalK

Hi All,

Thanks for the follow-up. Yes adenium1949, I believe you are correct in that by pruning the plant, I should more specifically be seeking advice on the shaping of it since that is actually what I am doing :D - any advice?

I will try to post other photos from different angles soon... Karyn1 I agree... I believe it was a cutting and my preference is to continue to have it leaning for the sake of interest - it was repotted about a year ago, so I think it's probably too soon to repot? At least if that's only for the sake of positioning it...

The consensus seems to be leave it until it's done seeding and then trim, so I'll follow that route, however is there a rule of thumb when it comes to shaping these plants or is it all generally a matter of preference?

Thanks again for the feedback!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:45PM
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adenium1949

Hi
It really is a matter of preference, so here is mine. I would not cut the main stems but would shorten the long side growths by about half. I dont know how much rain you get where you live but it may be a good idea to shelter the plant from rain while the cuts heal over to prevent any die-back. The new growth should flower really well for you. Good luck with whatever you decide, and keep us posted.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 2:41AM
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