DR - hard pruning - a big oh oh

Marge12345April 6, 2013

My DR I bought at Lowes is about a year old and has been outside all year and bloomed very nicely. It got too leggy so I hard pruned it last month but think I over pruned cause I left it with no leaves. It has been about a month and still no new growth, nada, nothing sprouting.
It is outside in the sun and I am wondering if I should fertilize it. I am just sick about it. Did I kill it? How long does it take to show new growth? Any help will be appreciated.

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Marge-12345 - did you prune below the last leaf scar on the existing branch(es)? I have learned (from smart people on this forum) that the only place a new branch will grow from is an old leaf scar. If you prune below them, then no new growth. I've pruned a number of my DR's, but always identified old leaf scars on the existing branch and made sure to prune above them. I've rarely had to wait more than 3 - 5 days for new branches to start. At last resort, you could always graft to the remaining plant to keep it going. Good luck,


    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Omg I murdered my DR.
Since I don't know what a leaf scar is I assume I went ahead and pruned below them. For future ref. what is a leaf scar? And what does it mean if I prune a branch and it is green where I have cut?. Then within a few hours it looks like dead wood. Will try posting pics.
Since I am such a novice I guess I'll try the grafting thing - like I have a clue how to do it. Maybe some techie advice on how to. In the meantime will search the internet/Youtube for step by step , hand-holding instructions.
I am just so sick about DR - it was my first DR love and I don't think I will ever get over losing it.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 4:36PM
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Here's a pic.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 4:52PM
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Hello Marge,
You really have pruned haven't you, but don't fret, I'm sure you will get strong new growth soon. The cut ends soon go dark when exposed to the air, this is perfectly normal and will soon seal off the exposed tissue. I note that it is outside, I think you should shelter the cut stems from rain untill the healing process is complete to prevent any rot. There is no need to fertilise IMO at this time, just let the plant recover in its own good time, they are very resilient.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Brian UK.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 5:57PM
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I could be wrong (Since I'm pretty new at this, too) but I think all those little notches on the stems are leaf scars, Marge. So you didn't kill the plant.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 6:09PM
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Marge - 12345, I see lots of leaf scars (those little horizontal marks on the branches) - you're fine. And just a hint for the future; after lopping off a branch, treat the exposed tissue with honey. It has medicinal properties and it keeps the tissue white as it heals. I've cut smaller DRs back that far and they came back fine...


    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 6:14PM
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Well I am still doing my best to kill this poor thing. Not only did I whack the Hades out of it, I left it out in a torrential downpour we had two days ago thinking rain water would be good for it. Fortunately the severed limbs had hardened by then so maybe they won't rot. The cut I did today I can treat but it already looks like dead wood. But my cocker spaniel is reading over my shoulder and wants me to put the honey on the wound. My cocker spaniel says he will keep watch over the healing process :).
When do you think I will see new growth? I live in Naples, FL (SW FL) and we have great weather and sun and this guy is outside so why is it being so stubborn.
Thanks for the encouragement and will keep you posted - I hope with good news. Am posting another pic.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:59PM
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Marge, you don't kill your plant. Within a month it gives you full head of leaves.....
Keep us post with new pictures...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:25PM
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i'm sure your plant will be fine.

keep the honey jar in your pantry.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:43AM
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This is the latest pic of my DR that I went all "Trauma Mamma" about a few weeks ago. You all were right and now my first born DR is basking in the sunshine. I bought another one right after I hacked away at first born and now they are bonding on my lanai. First born DR is determined to grow bigger and bloomier than my latest addition. Can I tell you all what a diff. you made by encouraging me to wait and see. Even tho I love to garden, patience is not one of my virtues. Thank blooming heavens for this forum. When first born blooms, I will post pics and do my Grandma dance I only do for my grandkids.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Trauma Mamma - LOLOLOL!!!!! Love it! I have my fair share of those regularly. Great job Marge, that DR looks fantastic!!!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 10:11AM
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Marge, your hard prune plant is looking great.
See all babies leaves, so fresh and healthy.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 11:24AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)


You did a fine job with your pruning. I think you will be very happy with the results once you see all the blooms this plant will provide for you. It looks great! Enjoy your plant.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 9:04PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia


You did a great job pruning your tree. Sometimes we think that we have gone to far, but you shaped it nicely!!! i think you pruned it perfectly!!! ;-)

I also will seal the cut ends with waterproof wood glue after i cut branches. I usually wait an hour, then seal. Some use other methods.. i wanted to let you know what i like to use...

Hope it helps..

Great job!!!


    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 10:09PM
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