pruning lantana and jatropha

bibilulu(9)October 5, 2008

Hello all, I am a novice gardener (really really novice), and I have some questions about pruning lantana and spicy jatropha. Have read that I should prune my lantana back about 2/3s, if I do so there are a lot of woodsy branches underneath, should I go in and clear that out as well?

For my jatropha, I have two of them and they both are like four branches that shoot out of the ground, so it is not very impressive, how the heck should I prune these things so that they look different that just branches coming out of the ground.

Is now a good time to cut these plants back??

I told you I know nothing, but I consider my self armed(have pruning shears) and dangerous(don't know what I am doing)

thanks for any input!!

-Robbye in Largo

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Is the spicy jatropha the one with the pink flowers? If so I have three of them. Mine are huge. They grow quickly. If you only have 4 sticks they are probably pretty young. Just let them grow a little bigger and then decide if you want them to look like a small tree or a big bush. If you want a tree you should trim the bottom branches. I guess it is sort of like crape myrtle prunning. Leave them alone until they get bigger. I don't usually trim very much height off.

I just discovered how to revive lantana myself. For years I would just dig them up and replace them every year. If you prune them back they will sprout right back in the spring. Go ahead and be aggressive with the prunning.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 4:57PM
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tony_k_orlando(Z9 Fl)

This is how HARD I prune my Jatropha

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 5:34PM
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Irma_StPete(z9 FL)

Tony, that's an eye-opener! Your jatropha appears to be in full sun and yet it shoots way up before stopping to flower. I thought my jatropha was reaching for the sun because it is in shade up to the house eves. Of course, mine never formed the multi-branched branches that yours has. All the cut backs just regrew a single branch.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 7:57PM
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Yep, that's what I do to mine. My shrub jatropha is now about 2 feet tall, with no limbs, and my jatropha multifida is now just a tall stick with a "y" at the top.

As far as lantana is concerned, I'd not cut more than half way back on that. I cut my yellow back too far one year, and it died.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 8:08PM
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tony_k_orlando(Z9 Fl)


Here is a pic before the pruning. The one standing branch was in the middle of tree perhaps that is why it looks like the plant is reaching when in fact, it isnt imo.

Check it out.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 8:27PM
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abendwolke(9 FL)

Tony, your yard is amazing! just so picture perfect!!

and yes I am curious too about the pruning, when is the best time to cut back the jatropha? it seems to bloom year round and I feel sorry for the flowers thinking I need to wait until flowering stops to cut it back?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 8:06AM
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tony_k_orlando(Z9 Fl)

Evelyn, you funny & kind person! You know my yard is not perfect, far from it !!! My yard is definitely not completely useless either, It can ALWAYS be used as a bad example . Good thing I can crop pics well.

A friend put into words as to when HE and I both seem to prune things. 'The BEST time is when we have the pruners in our hand !' Thats the truth.

The mulberry will be coming down to a stump soon too. We cant reach the top anymore.

I say cut yours anytime you want and where you want it to start branching out from. JUST DO IT ! They dont mind.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 8:50AM
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I am new to the Jatropha tree as well. I have attached a photo. Would it be ok for me to start cutting some branches? I want this tree to only get 7 ft tall and I don't want it to be too bushy.

I have a cat and am hoping to get the leaves high off the ground so he isn't tempted to eat them.

Please let me know your thoughts :) I don't want to kill it, but I am thinking this might be the time to start pruning.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 2:28PM
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