My Tardiva is so heavy with blooms, she's been weighed down all season, and the blooms are hanging so low you can't see them. How do I avoid this next year? When to cut back and how much to really shorten the branches? TIA
Hello Manya - I am experiencing the same with the 2 Tardivas I have ... I have clipped a few blossoms here & there and also tied/anchored, after several storms weighed them down even more.
You might want to ease weight from some canes by harvesting a few panicles (they get heavier as they mature) for now ... do your moderate/hard pruning & shaping in Spring.
Both of mine have grown like monsters in 5 years. I'll hard prune in Spring 2010 ... but I'll remove blossoms to help prevent possible cane breakage w/ added weight of snow.
Pruning can be done once dormancy has set in - late Fall!
Others may post other ideas ... Good luck!
Prune early spring before bud break. Tardiva blooms on new wood.
I've been told (by well known nurseries) that Paniculta doesn't like to be pruned back hard.
I just bought a Tardiva as I was told they have some the strongest stems of the Panicultas...plus their blooms aren't as heavy like limelight or pinky winky.
IMHO ... the weight of the Tardiva panicles is due to ripening/maturing of the plentiful, fertile florets (some into seeds). The weight of snow on the panicles can add stress on the already heavily, loaded canes & cause more arching & 0r breaks ... I clip the blossoms on thinner/younger canes & still have tons left ... enough for winter interests!!!
L'light produces negligible fertile florets & is mop-like ... DK about PW, tho I suspect, does similarly (from pics I've seen) ... will tend to collect more water from rain just like my Lil Lamb but those 2 have heftier canes to handle weight better & don't splay like Lil Lamb!
Just from observations on my 2 - 5 y/o Tardivas.
Generaly talking, Tardiva considered to be the one of the most upright cultivars of paniculatas and if yours is well estalished and still droopy you could do one of the following or combination of any:
-limb it up,
-prune hard in a spring and then remove some of the newly growing branches in a middle of the season,
-after you made a cut (during the early spring pruning) remove pointing down buds.
In any event do not ferilize.
Thank you George! - just what I needed to hear, as my 2 monster Divas do need to be tamed ... actually, 1 has tall center canes that are straight & upright ... so tempting to turn into a tree form ... but not a good idea in the setting she's in. I love the way she looks with a full-symetrical, skirt of blooms but fear, she's getting to large. So, I'll try to limb up some or perhaps just hard prune & shape ... heavens this 9'x9' does not need any more help from MG ... absolutely handsome Diva as she is on her own!!!
T2 is the one that needs a good shaping ... the overgrown under-planted, Lil Sprite (RS) & the b-bath (now moved over) were the reasons she leaned over to 1 side ... had to do nylon-hose network & anchored to pull her back in center ... oh well will wait 'til Spring!
Many thanks again! Â;)
If you hard prune follow these tips...
First year to its lowest pair of buds, thereby forming a low, woody framework (as low as 10 inches); subsequent years to lowest bud pair above the framework.
DO NOT prune to the ground!