Plumbago - Time for a trim | Green Patches - Mediterranean Gardening

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Plumbago - Time for a trim

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plumbago auriculata, trimming
Plumbago before the trim
I have decided that it is time to give my Plumbago a trim.  I have neglected the poor thing in Summer and there are alot of dead stems and leaves which need to be removed.  It is also almost time to move it so I'm getting it ready for the transfer.

I took out all the sticks I had put in to keep it steady.  Then slowly branch by branch I cut off all the stems which had dead flowers at the ends, carefull not the cut off the stems which have new stems and flowers growing out of them.  The stems tend to branch out into two or three stems, some have dead flowers at the end of them which can be cut off but some have new buds coming out so it important not to cut the entire stem at the base and cut off those too.  It is a very slow process and it took be the best part of two hours.

Here is the amount of dead foliage and stems removed when I was finished:

plumbago auriculata, leaves
Dead stems and foliage after the trim

Then, just as I was checking to see if everything was ok disaster happened.  One of the larger stems broke off in my hands!  I had forgotten how delicate the stems are to handle and I broke it off without any effort at all.  Since we are now at the end of summer the growth season has probably ended so I may have caused a bit of damage to the plant.  I watered it with fertiliser when I was finished and I didn't tie the stems to the sticks to hold it steady.  I was afraid I would cut off another stem by mistake.  I am monitoring it now to see that it heals properly.  Here is the end result:

plumbago auriculata, trimming
Plumbago after the trim

As you can see the foliage is much thinner now and it will let more sun through.  This is the first time I trimmed a plant so much but I am sure it will get through.  The plant is still a bit too big for my yard so maybe I need to cut it back a bit more to keep it in check.


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