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Pruning Leucadenrons

Posted by GSGJoe CA17 Sf (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 15, 05 at 18:18

I hate to say it, but I'm afraid to prune my leucadendron argenteum, safari sunshine and red tulip. The argenteum has grown about four feet in the last 9 months, and has grown a ring of about 20 branches with a leader continuing up from there. I know that if I don't prune it, it will become tall, spindly and thin at the bottom.

My question is this: when is the best time to prune them? The safari sunshine and red tulip are struggling to grow taller than the deck so that they finally get some sun, and the shady, dark, wet San Francisco winter hasn't killed them yet, so I'm planning on just letting them grow. Its mainly the argenteum.

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RE: Pruning Leucadenrons

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 24, 05 at 20:45

The L. argenteum is typically grown as a single trunk tree rather than a shrub, and this is what it prefers to grow as, so unless you have a particular reason to prune it, I would leave the central leader alone. If you want to encourage bushier growth on side branches, you can certainly tip pinch them. The other shrubby Leucadendrons all benefit from tip pinching to make them less leggy, and/or bushier, but it sounds like you have planted them in less than full sun which they need to stay more compact. If they are reaching for the light, even regular tip pinching will not keep them more compact. You can pretty much tip pinch at any season, I usually wait until the fresh growth has hardened off abit myself.

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