Very overgrown Variegated Cassava. Cut back now?

denninmi(8a)June 25, 2012

I picked up one on clearance last week. The poor thing was in a two gallon-ish pot, about 6 feet tall, two main trunks, branched widely about 2 1/2 feet up (must have pinched it), and floppy and top heavy as all get-out. It's pretty but basically a mess.

I've never had one of these, but everything I read seems to indicate they're easy to grow, and easy to propagate by stem cuttings.

Think I should just whack it back now, put the cuttings in to root, and hope it makes a decent, more compact and manageable plant by the end of the summer?

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tropicbreezent

They are very easy to grow and propagate. But they have a tendency to leggyness. I had one grow near a tree where it was a bit shady. So it used the tree as a support and got to over 5 metres tall. But out in the sun (all day) they will be a bit bushier and stronger. You can only propagate from cuttings, the tubers will rot if you cut them off and plant. And cuttings just take so easily. You'll end up with a plantation in no time.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 9:21PM
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denninmi(8a)

Thanks, that confirms what I read and what I thought. It's going to be hot here the next week or so, which will mean warm soil, should be ideal rotting conditions for a tropical plant. I'll use rooting hormone powder just to be sure, but with as many cuttings as I get from this thing, probably easily 25/30 six inch cuttings, I'm not concerned if many don't take. I'm sure the end result will be at least one, and probably far more, nice, smaller, neater looking plants.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 10:54PM
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tropicbreezent

I lived in a remote area some years back and for the local indigenous people I set them up with 'cassava plantations'. My propagation method was to cut up the stems and leave them to dry off/heal over for a couple of days. Then there were less worries about rot getting into them. Instead of harvesting a whole plant at a time we would just take a tuber from one side and refill the hole with wood ash. This way you could work your way around a few plants at a time and get enough as food without losing the whole plant. They loved the wood ash and regenerated new tubers quite rapidly. Of course, those weren't the variegated ones. So sandy soil, lots of sun, wood ash, and they were very happy little campers.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 7:31AM
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denninmi(8a)

Thank you for your help. I did mean to say good "rooting" conditions, not "rotting" conditions. Surgery is tonight or tomorrow!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 4:16PM
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tropicbreezent

Good luck. Do you have plant health insurance? LOL

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:38PM
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