Procrastinating Mt. Lemmon marigold bush prune job

psuperb1(9 Tucson)May 8, 2010

The blooms are all gone and I'm ready to prune. Problem is I'm not sure how to handle this. Here are some excerpts I've read on Internet.

...should be pruned close to the ground...

...they can be sheared by one third in early summer...

...cut foliage back by approximately half during the early summer months...

I know there is at least one member of this forum who has this plant, Gxxxx. Here's a picture I snapped today:

The one thing I do know is to get rid of the dead wood. There are older, thicker gray branches, fresher green ones and some in between. Should I prune all equally? How much? Is there a certain point on the stems where I should make the cuts?

I'd appreciate advice on how to proceed.


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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

You know, I'd snip off the older gray ones as close to the body of the plant as possible, and then give it a good, long stare to see how to proceed. If it was mine, I'd probably just quickly prune the remaining stems all to about 6 inches and then hope for the best. It'll fill back in quickly, I promise.

If you want something more natural and restrained looking right after the prune job (I really just hack mine back hard so immediately after it's not super natural looking, or attractive) you could get rid of the old stems, and shorten the younger stems in a random pattern, by cutting some back to 8 inches, and some to 4 inches, and some to 10 inches or so?

I'm sure mine would have looked better immediately after pruning had I taken more time with it, but generally I just hack them back wholesale in late winter.

Let us know what you do and how it works out! Even if you just left it alone I'm sure it would be a very attractive plant.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 1:25PM
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psuperb1(9 Tucson)

Grant, thank you for the quick and detailed instructions.

The deed is done. It went well. Bonus lesson: Don't prune on a windy day. Really, it looks okay. I read your advice and went to work. Took some thick branches way down and varied lengths of others. Everything down to 10" or less.

I really appreciate your response. You covered all the points I was unsure about. I'll post a picture next time it's in bloom. It feels so good to have it over with.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 11:35PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Great! I know how nice it feels to get one of "those" garden chores taken care of. :) We're looking forward to pics when you're ready to share your handiwork. Good tip about not doing it on a windy day, LOL.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 7:09PM
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