Pruning Ming aralia flowering top

catwolfsfMay 5, 2012

I'm a new owner of a Ming aralia. It is a stump variety. On a few of the uprights I have a cluster of flowers and now a few fruits. As these are at the tops of the branches, I'm not sure if or when I can prune them. My plant is experiencing some shattering, and I'm trying to take corrective actions.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You can prune any time, but early summer is probably the best time. Shattering? Not in the dictionary of hort terms, either - at a loss .....


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:53AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Al,

Happy Birthday to you. I wondered exactly the same thing: what's shattering?

I've also never seen this plant in bloom so I'd like to ask Catwolf, could you pls. provide pix?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Thank you for your interest. I have taken photos of the plant. Let me know if you have a problem with the link.

Shattering is a term I read on another site while trying to save this plant. I'm losing 3 - 4 branches a week. They turn yellow and drop off. I think I was over watering when I first got the plant, and I had it in a dark location. It now gets some direct early morning light and bright indirect the rest of the day. Temperature ranges from 68 to 78. I am misting it to provide humidity. I really love this plant. I want it to thrive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos on Flickr

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:10AM
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What your experiencing is called "die back". It is a common response due to some form of stress. "Shattering" is a term used in horticulture to describe the breaking or shattering of grass inflorescence causing the seeds to fall off. The soil for your ming aralia should never be dried out completely between waterings. Always make sure the soil stays a little moist but not wet or soggy as this will cut off the oxygen to the roots and kill your plant. That being said, unless you left the soil saturated for a week or more I would guess it was the dark room you put it in. If a plant cannot produce enough sugar from photosynthesis to keep all of it's tissues alive it will begin to die back every time. Die back starts at tips of branches and moves inward and can occur at one or several areas at once on your plant. If you are experiencing yellowing out and a loss of foliage on the bottom of your plant, that is abscission due to a lack of light reaching those leaves rendering them useless to the plant. Giving your aralia a well lit or sunny area will probable solve your problem. When you prune your aralia it is best to prune it while it is in a vegetative state and not dormant; but you can prune it while its dormant as long as you don't remove too much foliage. If you want a flush of branches to be produced on a bare area, you can also bend the branches of your ming aralia back and forth above the area you want filled in to cause minor damage which will activate the nodes below; but make sure not to crack them. Aralias respond well to this. Hope this helps and happy growing :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:01PM
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that's a great tip on inducing growth!
also I've never seen aralia bloom, very interesting. how old is the plant?
this looks sort of like a fern-leaf aralia, but with shorter leaves. not ming. at least my ming has only very thin leaves.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:53PM
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