Prune confusion...Tagetes lemmonii

psuperb1(9 Tucson)April 20, 2010

I planted Mt. Lemmon marigold October 2009. It has bloomed through most of the winter and is still putting out blooms. I deadhead every several days.

I found this pruning advice online: "Prune lightly in spring to encourage bushier growth and more bloom but do not prune in summer."

As spring is winding down and summer is not far off, is now the time to prune? Somehow it seems a waste to prune while blooms are still coming but I don't want to miss the opportunity to prune. I've heard this plant can get out of hand.

Should I prune by about one-third now? Thanks.

Larry

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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hi Larry and all,

I know what you mean, I'm sure a lot of us do: it can be so hard to prune something for future blooms when it has current blooms. Always a tough choice. :)

I prune my Mt. Lemmon marigolds pretty hard in March each year to get bushy flower filled plants in summer. If your plant was mine, I'd probably prune it back now even though it's blooming still. I wasn't always so quick with the pruners, but a couple of years of plants getting so floppy that they split taught me to prune a bit more than I was.

It's your plant though, so let us know what you do and how it works out. I really, really love the scent of that foliage and the blooms are a really nice bonus. I think more people should grow this puppy.

Keep us posted!
Take care,
Grant

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 8:05PM
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psuperb1(9 Tucson)

Thanks for responding to post. I will do the pruning by weekend if not before. I filed some articles on pruning and will read them over.

Yes, I absolutely love the scent of the Mt. Lemmon marigold leaves too. When I pinch the fading flowers, I roll them in my palms to heighten the aroma.

As for my old thread on "stalled" Cosmos in which Grant and lazygardens advised deeper watering, plants are at about 3" now. This is not great. My instinct is that tap water hardness (208 ppm) is a factor.

I'm letting containers set out 24 hours before using water. Also trying something I read at another forum topic: Adding 1 tablespoon white vinegar per gallon water. I'll reference the January 2010 thread below in case anyone is interested in the rationale. Yes, the article says it works for cactus but I'm trying it with Cosmos too.

One day I'll post pictures of "Bright Lights" Cosmos either in death throes or more hopefully in full bloom.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vinegar and cactus...is this true?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 2:34AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hiya Larry and all,

Great--keep us posted on how your marigold develops. Mine is looking really good right now, although bloomless (for now). Mine is along the east side of the house and I slop water on it once a week or so and it's thriving. I really can't say enough nice things about it.

Sorry to hear about your cosmos, but good to hear you've got a Plan of Attack. I've read the suggestion about adding vinegar to water too (including the Cactus and Succulent Society of America journal which I get). Honestly, I've just been too chicken to try it and it sounds so counterintuitive to do it with cacti, but I have to say, all I've heard is really positive results from it, especially from folks in areas like ours where the water is hard AND alkaline.

Keep us posted on how it works out. Revive that old cosmos thread if necessary. :) We hope to see/hear results either way.

Take care and post often,
Grant

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 6:17PM
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