pruning esperanza's

mla2ofusSeptember 14, 2008

I checked the 'search forum' first but I couldn't find out anything about pruning esperanza's. There are 2 orange and 4 yellow ones in my yard and they are HUGE! They are also kind of leggy, expecially the orange ones, and I was wondering if they were pruned in the spring if that would make them thicker and more compact. I have a good sized yard but would like other kinds of plants/shrubs than these 8' x 8' perennials.

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mikeandbarb(z8 D/FW)

I cut mine all the way to the ground after a hard freeze. Anywhere between Feb-March or as soon as limbs are dead.
To check for dead limbs take your finger nail and scrape the limb and if there is no green it's dead.

Living in Texas and our weather I do clean up year around, so when it's nice in the winter I'll cut back plants like esperanza's, evergreen salvias. Prune Roses on Feb 14th or soon after.
I trimmed back my black and blue salvia last August due to it getting bed ragged and it's coming back nicely so it's going to give me a good show for another month.

Some plants you need to wait till after all danger of a freeze which can be as late as April, rare but it's happened.

A black and blue salvia would look pretty in front of the esperanza's. They can get about 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 5:03PM
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freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)

mikeandbarb ~

how long have you had your esperanza? - i've been debating whether to get one b/c I didn't know what it would do in our winters

and after you prune them, do you mulch over, or just leave as is?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 5:20PM
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Since I bought my house from my sister I do know that she planted them 3 or 4 years ago and winter prunes them almost to the ground when they die back, same as they do the hardy hibiscus, and they come back very good in the spring. I was just wondering if I can prune them back a little during the spring and summer to make them thicker and more compact. If not I will have to move them to the side yard as it is larger than the back yard. I really like them because they bloom for so long but they are too big to have all 5 of them in my smaller back yard.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 5:55PM
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I've had success pruning back esperanzas throughout their growing season. Sometimes they just get a little too tall and leggy for my taste. They don't seem to mind being pruned and shoot out a lot of new growth right away. You could always try it with one and see how you like it.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 9:00PM
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Thanks everyone. I'll transplant them this fall and put them where I want them. Right now they are so large they hang over on the lawn, then DH runs over part of the branches when he mows. I'll move them back and keep them pruned a bit and they'll look great (I hope). :)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 9:37PM
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mikeandbarb(z8 D/FW)

I've had mine for 4 years now and I don't mulch but it is right up to the foundation of the house so I'm sure this helps protect it. If it's planted out in the open I would mulch it with at least 6 inches of mulch. I don't water it ever. It gets tall and full.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 9:51AM
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liz_h(7/8 DFW Texas)

For some reason I thought esperanzas were annuals here. When do they bloom?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 9:46PM
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freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)

liz ~
I don't have one, but they're in bloom everywhere, and have been for a while. You've probably been looking at them all along. A lot of the tags in our market label them as annuals, so that might be what you're thinking of. That's what has kept me from buying one. But after reading everyone's posts, I think I'll grab one after all.
~ Amy

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 10:54PM
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mikeandbarb(z8 D/FW)

Esperanza are not annuals but in our zone they need protection from winter freeze's. It is easy to lose one from a hard winter but if they make it through they are so worth the chance. Now is a good time to get one cause they'll be going on sale and you might find them at Lowe's for just a few bucks or less.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 8:12AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

My first one I grew from seeds, and lost it the first winter. It was mulched, but also had no protection from the cold wintery wind. I have them in the backyard this year where they will get lots of protection, and I will see how this works.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 9:25AM
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freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)

Lowe's in Carrollton on George Bush (near I-35E) has a 50% sale on >everythingThey also have 5 or 6 carts of plants marked down for clearance & most are still fine. Lots of salvia on those shelves.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 11:38AM
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freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)

just got an orange! esperanza - texas autumn splendor - at the lewisville calloway's

50% off, so only $12.50 for a 3gal

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 5:53PM
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