How to prune or cut back Crown of Thorns
I need advice on my Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii). I was able to easily root COT and have them in pots all over my yard. They add such reliable color and are never not in bloom. How can you not love that? All of the plants in the photos below came from one single red and one single pink plant.
The problem is that some of these rooted cuttings are getting a leggy and top heavy. Would you prune these? If so, where along the stem would you make the cut?
I have noticed, from a few COT that got frozen back, that no matter where the freeze damage stops along the stem, new growth is almost always (but not 100%) from the roots. Most of the time (but not 100%), there is no new growth along the healthy branches. New growth comes up straight up from the soil line even though there are healthy branches. So that makes me wonder if should I cut these back off near the soil? It doesn't seem like there is any advantage to leaving 3-4" of stem because it will be left just waving there in the air with no leaves or flowers. I'm afraid it will be an eyesore sticking up in the middle of the plant. What do you think? Anyone have any good info about cutting back COT?
The closest I could find was this Martha Stewart video linked below but it is just completely worthless. She hacks this poor lady's COT up to pieces, doesn't address the lady's questions and really doesn't have a clue. I swear Martha is just shooting from the hip as she goes along and she as much as says so:
Martha: I'm going to trim off this dead wood...Oh look... it just breaks right off.
Martha: Don't you think it is a little tall?
Sweet lady: Definitely.
Martha: ...so maybe we can cut it down a little bit... there's nothing happening down here... so if we just sort-of cut it off here...
Sweet lady: Will it sprout down at the bottom?
Martha: I don't know if it will or not but we'll see.
(You don't know? You'll see?! )
And then Martha runs off with all of the cuttings.
Of course, we never do see. There is no post-op follow-up.
So what would you do?
Carol in Jacksonville
Here is a link that might be useful: Martha Stewart - Pruning and Propagating Crown of Thorns Plants
This post was edited by love_the_yard on Sun, May 18, 14 at 11:58