Duranta pruning help!

jennatteberry(7 - North MS)August 10, 2013

So, I came across a Duranta at Kroger this year. I didn't know what it was and brought it home. I liked it so much I went back and bought another one. They are housed in 24" pots in my back yard on my porch. My first one was always beautiful. My second... Not so much. They're the kind with the little purple blooms. But with some tender loving care, it started to flourish and because just as healthy and beautiful as the first. Then the storm came. It snapped the second one that had just developed clean in half. I was so sad!! But then I realized it had a shoot, if you will, stemming off the broken trunk. Now my little shoot is approximately three feet tall and looks like a weed I guess. I'm wanting to know how to prune it back into the little tree shape and when's the best time. I need to brace it on something so it will grow straight as its leaning off the trunk still. Also, with me being in Mississippi, I know they will die if I leave them out so I was thinking I would bring them in for the winter? Can anybody give me some advice on this little plant? I've read where they're a bush but apparently can be trained into a tree. Somebody take me to school on this plant!! :) I've included a picture of my first one and what is left of my second - the one I'm wanting to fix!

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Well, I have grown the blue flowering ones once, but my personal favorites are the golden green and golden variegated Durantas. For years, I would take cuttings from them in the fall, root them (very easy) and pot them into small pots for the winter. I would grow them under florescent lights. Two years ago, I had a row of Cuban Golds in the yard that were so big and beautiful that after taking cuttings indoors, I mulched them with straw and built a little "hoop house" over them and covered them with row covers for the winter. The tops died, but they all came back from the roots the next year. Last year I just gave them a heavy mulch and they all came back. It seems that if you can get them to return one time and don't move them, they are more likely to return from then on. (with mulch)

All that being said, I would advise you to root cuttings from your plants in the fall and just take those inside, simply due to space considerations. They will need plenty of light, either from a south facing window or from florescents. I don't blame you for wanting to do this. In my area I can never count on finding new ones at the garden centers every year.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 3:54PM
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