Calling all pruners, before & after pics

Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)September 1, 2013

A collection of before, after pics might be fun, inspirational in a general way, and just some good plant porn if you ask me.

Cordyline fruticosa, before. The mid-height stalk on the left (there's a smaller one behind it) was cut near the soil surface and stuck back in the pot toward what is the right side in this pic, for what will be a bigger overall plant soon, with many more trunks, individual plants, so more full from top to bottom:

Soon, the stump sprouts a new top. Note the guttation (water dripping out of the one leaf.)

This other stump has been cut twice this summer. First to remove a top, the stump grew a pair of new tops. When they got a few leaves, I cut it again. It's growing another pair of new tops:

Edited to add a new pic of this pot, showing a lot of new growth from the Cordyline "stumps."
New pic taken 9/27:

This post was edited by purpleinopp on Mon, Sep 30, 13 at 10:46

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asleep_in_the_garden

That's cool the way your cordy is cooperating with you,Purp!

My dief got a serious whack and when I expected growth from closer to the top it comes back with this,...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 8:29PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

here's a close up...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 8:30PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Here's the top that will eventually be returned to the mix once it's roots are capable of holding it steady.

Pretty sure that if I'm patient there will be top growth on the stump and when it's all back together again it will look great(I hope).

If it looks half as good as I know yours will,I'll be pleased as punch,Purp! :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 8:38PM
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sradleye

i repotted and eventually ended up hacking away at this guy

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 11:20AM
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sradleye

which now looks like this

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 11:23AM
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sradleye

pic works?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 11:24AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)



Al

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Here's a Dracaena. In January (plant on the right.)

About 3 months ago, it was beheaded. Here's the stump as of a few weeks ago, making 3 new tops to replace the one lost. (The rain keeps splashing sand all over stuff.)

The top was stuck in the pot shown at the base of this tree. Hey, there's one of those rocks I was talking about a minute ago in another post, about holding roots in place after a repot. This particular rock is just keeping the center of gravity lower. Haven't had to sit this pot back upright from blowing over since I put the rock there.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:41AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Something that grows a lot faster can be extremely educational and just really fun to play with. Generally, the results of pruning can be predicted, once the growth pattern is known. Many plants grow in a similar pattern of main stem/trunk with side branches. Coleus grows quickly enough for even the most impatient to observe timely results, which can then be applied to much more slow-growing plants, like little trees and shrubs.

A tip pinch by itself usually just results in bifurcation at the tip. If one's goal is to have a sturdy, bushy plant, that's not the best way to achieve that appearance. Almost right away, the new tips will continue adding height, raising the center of gravity, resulting in a less stable, more top-heavy plant. Removing the leaves along an entity that just has one main stem/trunk with no side branches can encourage branching much more effectively. The height will not increase as fast, and the added growth at lower levels keeps the center of gravity lower, and the inspires the main stem/trunk to strengthen in conjunction with having grown side-branches.

A similar effect can be achieved by bending the plant sideways and securing it in that position. Now the side is the top, and each node will send a tip straight up. (I think this is an example of negative geotropism, if I've been paying attention well, although I always thought it was toward the light...?) One could use this combination of info to 'shape' this plant like a tiny colorful tree, or to espalier an actual small tree, either in a pot or in the ground.

This plant shows an example of removing the leaves along a main stem instead of just pinching out the growing point. Most of the original leaves below the top few nodes were removed a few weeks ago.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 11:07AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

I find the idea of training coleus fascinating Purp...thanks for the info!

Now...in the event that Al is still peeking in here,hopefully he could advise me a bit in regard to a ficus that I intend to cut back pretty hard,..and as he is a bonsai enthusiast(beautiful stuff btw AL!),his input would be really cool right about now(even if it's likely not a good time of year to be doing this...I think?).

All others are absolutely welcome as usual to chime in with advice as well(I mean like...if ya want to...).

this is the tree as of yesterday

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:02AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Closer...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:04AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

I will soon be giving this thing a severe chop,but if patience allows,I will wait until I've heard some thoughts from others.

Thank you,guys-n-gals!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:07AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

First, if you're diligent about your pinching, you can really get your plants to adopt a very compact form. These are cuttings from a trailing coleus I used in a mixed planting in mid-May. After a summer of pinching, they look like this:



Here is a shot of a begonia growing near a lower entry door. I can't take any credit for its shape 'cuz it hasn't been pinched at all, but I am amazed that it's growing in a small plastic pot stuck in the cedar bucket, and it only has about 1 quart of soil. You can't really see very well from the picture that the interior foliage is kind of sparse, but if you separated the outer layer of leaves, you'd see it was pretty bare on the interior. That's because of the root congestion. I think the foliage is in really good condition though, especially for the first of Oct ....

Rosie is 90 years old, and getting too frail to carry some of her bonsai trees in and out and all around. She gave me a little ficus grove that once won 'people's choice award' at a state bonsai show (but hasn't been doing too well lately), thinking that with a little TLC it might regain some vitality and its ability to please the eye. I'll be working on that for awhile, but thought you might enjoy the big bruiser I caught hunting on private property last night.

Asleep - I think you'd do ok by cutting your plant back now if you are growing under really good light (like halide, HPS, or a bank of good fluorescents), but I'd encourage you to wait until at least the middle of next Jun if you're depending on natural light or just 'something you set up to provide a little extra light for the winter'. Leaves are like workers that provide the plant's food. The fewer workers you have, the less food the plant gets, and the greater the stress on the plant to provide the energy it needs to grow and keep its systems orderly.

Thanks for thinking about me - I haven't been posting nearly as much as I have in the past, but my mail still keeps me pretty busy. ;-)

Al

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 3:12PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Al

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 4:49PM
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