Will foliage return, if...

birdsnbloomsOctober 7, 2012


Wondering, if leaves from Crown of Thorns, 'both milii and Thais are cut off, will they return...

If clipping can be done, and foliage grows back, should lower leaves only be removed, or top to bottom?

If, in the future, the only leaves that resume are new, upper leaves, I'd have to veto the idea.

Thanks in advance..Toni

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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Not sure precisely what you are asking, but once you remove a leaf, that's it. New growth only occurs at the end of the stem unless you physically damage the growing tip to cause branching.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:00PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I grow min COT pretty hard outside. When it gets cold it klooses its leaves and I stop watering. I the warm up it gets back its leaves and I think it gets leaves all over. It is heavily branched so it has growth points up and down all branches. I haven't really looked to see if the leaves come back lower down. I figured that the plant is going to do what it does. The best thing is to encourage branching . lTran (a poster) was told that a regimen of part shade and then sunlight is good. Part shade will encourage branching and sun will encourage flowering.. Mine is in a bright part shade and it has never stopped branching or flowering.

I guess I have avoided answering your question directly. If these are small plants or cuttings, the effort would be to do what is good for the plant because it will grow up beyond the growth point into a large and beautiful plant. If it spends a time naked of verdue, it will only be temporary.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:00PM
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I'd like to spend some time naked of verdue, let me tell you.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:14PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I have been using that word a lot this week. I wonder if I am spelling it right. Me bad in that regard. If I got a dog or son this week, I would name it that.They would hate me for life and the dog would verdoodoo all over the place.

I used to have to cut my COT to get it to branch but now they get bushy on their own. Maybe it is the variety.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:34PM
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Mara, what/where is verdue? lol.
Sizes vary..some are 10", other 2.5' tall.
I live in IL, so Crowns must come in during winter.

Bikerdoc..think you answered my question..so, my choices are either cutting trunk down or defoliate..but in the future, the trunk will be bare, and only top leaves and flowers will continue growing?

Jeff, you have my permission to spend time naked, but you must snap and post photos. :)

Mara, do you know which varieties you have? Milii's branch out, but Thai's, 'large-flowers' more often than not, grow one, main trunk. This summer, a couple Thai's produced side-shoots, but I think it was the heat. Crowns are 3-13-yrs-old...one milii was started from a cutting 1983..The latter branched on its own, without cutting back..

So, guess it's best not to defoliate...
Thanks all, Toni

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:01PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Toni,

Also not clear on exactly what your question is but I'll try. Why would you want to cut off leaves? Maybe if you share what you're trying to do, we can answer better.

I refer to COT milii only (as I have never grown Thai hybrids & no matter how I tried to explain it, Ltran doesn't seem to get that's what her group of COT are called. She answered she didn't buy them in Thailand, even tho' I explained about the name & the Thai royal family ...)

Sorry to digress, for E milii's only, I have cut them back pretty severely to re-shape them, they grow back just fine. While I've cut off numerous BRANCHES at a time I've never cut all the LEAVES off at once, I wouldn't do that. Not sure what the point of that would be.

I recently trimmed back one I was given which was badly grown & poorly shaped so I cut all the growth back (several branches at a time) so get it much closer to the mix & more compact than the gangly version I was given. I'd try to share before & after pix, but sadly my home computer is down. This in particular was about the E. milii x moratii I adore.

If I'm not around for a while it's that my home computer died big time, & I'll have to get a laptop before I really get back on here other than quick notes done at work.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:13PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Sorry "verdure" is the spelling. I am atrocious at spelling. I love words but I spell them as I say them, which might not be right either. English is not my first language, but I can only remember my first language if you hypnotize me. So I am a mess and always cracking up those around me. It still does not stop me from slaying verbiage right and left.

I have a small flowered nameless shocking pink variety. The woman, ltran, who told me about the shade trick grows Thai varieties in Houston. She has several dozen varieties of lush thick Thai varieties. If you didg you will find her entry

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Karen, sorry about your computer. Hope you get the laptop soon.

After starting this thread, 'and placing Crowns on the shelf,' I realized it's not defoliating Milii's as much as Thais.
The reason is space and falling leaves. :(

I really wanted to know if the Thai variety could be defoliated, and if leaves would grow back, 'in bare spots,' next spring/summer.

I don't mean any disrespect, but it's funny about Ltran..lol.

Karen, get that computer. It's as addicting as some people who adopt plants. :)

Mara, lol. English is my first language, 'other than Pig-Latin,' yet I still have problems expressing my thoughts.
Spelling botanical names is a challenge.

About Itran.............lol. Toni

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:48PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Toni,

I do not think Thais will re-grow leaves either, cut branches likely so; fill in bare leaf spots doubtful.

While they're the not the same, COT miliis & the Thai hybrids, I think they are similar enough that we can assume, since the milii don't regrow leaves, the Thais won't either, sorry.

Wanton, I'm just curious, what WAS your first language?

Here, I thought you were trying to say 'virtue', as in virtuous. Sure gave Jeff a good laugh!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 4:32PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Defoliation is a technique used in bonsai to promote new, smaller leaves on trees that have large leaves.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Once removed the foliage won't grow back on that area of the Thai COT but it will continue growing at the tips, same as milii. It also grows only from the tips when it comes out of dormancy. Chester (evil cat) stripped off a significant amount of leaves not too long ago but I think the new foliage does a good job of hiding the bare spots. Mine also branches out when it comes out of dormancy (without being pinched back) so the bare older stems are hidden.

Temps are dropping here so I moved it to the GH yesterday. It's getting more buds. Hopefully they'll open before it goes dormant.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 4:40PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Actually, Ltran was saying that she got them from nurseries in Houston because they had great varieties and the shipping cuttings from Thailand was expensive and she had an amazing supply of them in her neighborhood. We had a misunderstanding between two posters. A common occurrence here.She is also Vietnamese, I think, so maybe she doesn't see them as THAI but as COT that are being hybridized in in Thailand where as we identify them now as Thai and are very common in the oriental community. Another example of this is that many people in California and Arizona talk about the plant The Texas Ranger", AKA Leucophyllum fructescens. It is never called that in the land where it hails from. It is called Cenizo here in Texas., It is an interesting gap of understanding that can only happen on the internet, all arising from the splitting of hairs that might not translate over a language barrier.. Did I mention that the first language that I forgot was Thai. I am not Thai but I was raised there for awhile a long time ago, and my stepmother was Thai. Cultural perspective is interesting. A NYC perspective , I find fascinating.

Sawadee ka , Marasri

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 5:04PM
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If I got a dog or son this week, I would name it that.They would hate me for life and the dog would verdoodoo all over the place.

you crack me up...

and Jeff too


    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 8:23PM
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Thank you all.

Karen, actually E. milii does return, although I was more concerned about Thais.

A few years ago, a cocoon, 'think cocoon is the correct term,' ate all but one leaf on a milii.

We assumed it was a butterfly, so we tried saving him/her, gave him/her a name, Slinky. We found Slinky on my Milii while bringing plants in the house before winter.

Slinky hatched in mid-winter..a Giant moth/butterfly, w/beautiful colors. Never saw such a beauty around these parts.

By spring the following year, new leaves filled Milii.

Guess Thai's shouldn't be defoliated, although most COT trunks are bare after bringing indoors after previous summers outside.

Karyn...yours is SOME COT's!!! It's beautiful. I'd love seeing when in bloom. How many trunks are in the pot? Or did it start as one and branch out? Gorgeous! Toni

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 3:29PM
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There's a single main stem under the soil but multiple branches grew from the base. It's grown quite a bit in the few years I've had it and is now over 2' tall. The buds are still holding so hopefully I'll get another flush of blooms before it goes dormant. It's in the GH with no supplemental lighting. This one blooms all at once then is bare for for a couple months. I have no idea if this is normal. My milii's bloom continuously until dormancy. My milii's get few if any leaves on the lower stems when they come out of dormancy. The foliage is concentrated at the tips but my E. gottliebii and genoudiana, which are very similar, leaf out along the entire stems.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:26AM
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Karyn..how warm/cold is your gh where Crowns live?

My oldest Milii, started from cutting in '83, blooms year round. Started blooming from '84. I don't think, in all those years, it ever stopped blooming.
However, other Milii's bloom peridically.

One trunk..amazing. Karyn, your COT's is the prettiest I've ever seen.
When you say it goes bare a few months..do you mean foliage or blooms?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:46AM
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