Pruning Before and After

elucas101(8)April 23, 2013

Off with their heads!!! No, kidding, but there were moments I thought I had performed more of a beheading than a prune, but it seems things may be alright after all.

This was the first time I pruned my bigger DR - I had snipped a few long branches on seedlings but not thick branches on established plants. I ended up cutting them a bit shorter than I was probably supposed to, but for shape, balance and to make sure I got a nicely healing cut I had to go a bit short.

Flashback to last year when I found a pair of the most neglected, hot mess obesum crunched together root bound in a pot with a giant seed pod sticking out.

After I pried them out of the pot:

Seperation almost complete:

First one freed:

I have misplaced the photo of the plant in a pot from last year, but here it is after pruning, but before lifting.

Close up of pruning:

Here is the new pruned and lifted plant!

Here is the other One after seperation:

I also don't have last years picture of this one, sorry! But here it is all pruned and lifted!

Here is a before picture from last year of an obesum I bought at Walmart.

I pruned this one and when i raised it I found some rot in the roots. There wasn't a whole lot but there was some. I cut the rot off and I hope it will recover. It got a beheading too but has not bounced back as quickly as the first two.

I have one more that is just heartbreaking for me. This one I love so much but it has had a rough time. When I first got it I was told to cut off an odd branch to create better balance, which I agree needed to be done. I was none the wiser until I pruned the plant that it appeared to have rot behind the old cut area.

I should have just left it but I panicked and cut down further and further, until I had an unbalanced, ugly mess and coiuld still see the dark wood in there, it must go all the way down. the roots are not rotten at all though, which I should have checked first. I finally truly beheaded this poor thing and it makes me cringe just telling you about it. It does have 2 nodes trying to pop out of the very edge of the neck which I will have to get pictures of, but this is really severe y'all and I don't know if it will make it. Too bad because the flowers are gorgeous.
Before the attack:


Is there any real hope this plant can recover or am i just wasting my time?

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kodom087 z9a

Plants look great! Well, until I gasped for air after seeing the last one. Felt like I was looking at a Disney movie but then it went all Stephen King at the end.

I wouldn't worry too much about the last one. It just may pop back. If not take encouragement that I had pruned a fat root off mine that had a little rot. The root has survived over a year and started showing new bumps that I presume are more roots. I'm going to experiment and attempt to graft onto it.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:51PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Emily..

OH MY!!!!

I think i gasped myself...

Loved all of the photos and what you have done. I really liked alll of the different looks and what i see. One pic looks like an elephant... LOL I see his trunk and an eye!!!

I am with Kirk.. When i saw the warning, i braced myself to see .. I even said out loud.. " OH MY!!!"

My thoughts took me back to London when i visit the Tower Of London and my thoughts took me to King Henry .

OUCH... DId you seal the top? Sometimes we have to learn from our past experiences and believe me, i have done the same at one point or another. We all have. It might not be with a DR, but im sure we have pruned something back to hard and wished we would have left it alone. Don't feel bad, hopefully it will back bud and you will see some new growth. If not, just chalk it up to experience... We can always take more... never can add back...

I have a Plumeria that was sunburned so bad and it looked awful.. I added some "stuff" as a filler that was recommended and it looks awful still. It is alive but its pitiful... ;-( I just look at it and think that i learned from this mistake.

Great pics...

YOU are doing a great job!!!!

Take Care,


    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 5:37PM
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I see an elephant too :)) they all look very very good, including the last one. I think i see bud bumps on it, in which case if you managed to cut the rotting parts away it should recover. Just a few days ago i mutilated some seedlings trying to save a rotting graft, i cut them about two inches from the ground, imagine how pitiful they look now after some rejected the graft :)) but they are budding out in the remaining few buds! Give it time!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 6:13PM
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Kirk - OMG, you had me truly laughing at your fantastic analogy!!! Looking at a Disney movie that went all Stephen King is right! Keep us updated on what happens to your plant and graft attempt, that sounds interesting. And thanks for the encouragement.

Laura, I know, it's bad. But you're right, it's a learning experience and I won't do that again! I think of it as like when you start to trim your own bangs and then before you know it you are left with a sprout of a mess that still isn't even...LOL! Thank you for your encouragement and reminder we all have these incidents, I do really appreciate it and I'm sorry about your sunburned plumie :(

OH! and thank you to you and teyo for pointing out the elephant shape, I hadn't seen that before! Cool!

teyo, sorry to hear about the losses, it does sound like you are doing a great job saving the others! It's really surprising how they can come back from such harsh cutting - I really thought most of them wouldn't come back but they did! That last one was just cut WAY too far down.

Here is a picture just now of what it is doing.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 8:08PM
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kodom087 z9a

LOL Glad you liked the analogy. It was the best I could come up with so quickly. I have a twisted sense of humor and it often gets me into trouble.

YAY! I see little branches! Now you can look at it as a huge opportunity to train the branches with a little pruning every now and then to make it really bush out at the top.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 12:20AM
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Wait, how long exactly from pruning to these last images?? It looks like it's going to explode with growth! I just now realized, you could have even grafted something onto it, to make sure it has a bud or two to work with.
Anyhow, it will be just fine, as Kodom said a nice chance to form a whole now top any way you like.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 7:08AM
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Oh goodness, well thanks for the encouragement you two!!! It has been SEVERAL weeks since this incident - I haven't had the heart to show you all what I had done LOL! Especially when I see the amazing growth it had put on in a year and how pretty the flowers were. :(

I haven't looked at it closely for a while - it makes me cringe every time. But this feels a little promising since you two think it may actually branch enough to have something to work with in the future!!! Fingers crossed and thank you so very much for all of the input.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 10:02AM
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Elucas, the first 2 look very good. The third one needed more time because the root system had some rot. The 4th one takes even longer, but few months from now they all have full head of leaves and I hope they give you plenty of blooms.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 11:45AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

The first 2 look like a pair of conjoined twins, you can almost hear them sigh and take a ddep breath when they have been separated!! They look really good now, very interesting shapes...especially the elephant! I'm sure they will all come good for you...even your last one, 'old stumpy' lol!
Gill, UK.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 4:27PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Aw Emily, it probably looks drastic now, but it will grow and you will have the opportunity to manipulate the branches in the fashion you like. Good luck...I hope your plants do well for you.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 7:43PM
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Thank you Marie, Gill and Ladylotus! - I hope you are right, that would be great if it (stumpy! LOL) recovers to look anywhere near full and normal. The area where the original odd branch was cut & sealed with glue will not generate new branches I know, but if I could get just a few more branches to sprout out of the edge I think it would be able to eventually grow out to be shaped & help fill out again.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

It will, Emily...

You have a very strong tree that naturally wants to survive , so it is going to branch heavily..

I know it will be beautiful.. Just wait and see!!,

Have a wonderful night!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:28AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

I love the elephant one!! great photos!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 3:18PM
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I just stumbled on this forum (never seen an adenium in person but now I really want one) and this post made me laugh... Particularly kodom087 first response.
Your pictures are wonderful and informative; beautiful plants!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 12:38AM
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kodom087 z9a

Hello and welcome, Disneyhorse!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 2:22PM
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