Plumbago - Pruning for Winter | Green Patches - Mediterranean Gardening

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Plumbago - Pruning for Winter

Today is the day I took a leap of faith and pruned the Plumbago for the coming winter.

Following my light trim I decided it was time and I read so many articles which said that it doesn't really matter when and how much you prune a Plumbago it will come back stronger than ever.  I saw a picture of one pruned all the way to the ground!  I didn't go so far but I definitely took off a big chunk.  I would say a third of it is gone which should be ok (I hope).

plumbago auriculata pruning trimming
Plumbago before pruning

I decided to cut off all the right section which is trailing on the ground.  That section has been hard to keep under control and I decided to cut all of it out and then control the stems better when they start growing back.  

I took the shears and cut the main stems straight off careful to keep a 45 degree angle.  I didn't manage at first and the stem broke off in a million pieces.  This is dangerous for the plant as it can bring disease.

plumbago auriculata pruning trimming
Cutting the stem incorrectly
plumbago auriculata pruning trimming
Cutting the stem correct at 45 degrees

I realized it's actually very simple to do this if you hold the shears straight.  I was trying to hold it at an angle...  I made sure to cut down the stems to where there where new buds so as to encourage growth at the lower end of the plant.

plumbago auriculata pruning trimming
Stems cut off
It was a bit hard at first because I cut off so many flowers and buds :(  To think it took all year to get some decent growth out of the plant and now I cut a lot of it off.  I believe however that in the end it will be worth it and I will have denser foliage and a spurge of flowers as soon as it recovers.  I transferred the plant to a sunny spot on our roof now because I was not getting enough sun in the yard.  

Here it is nice and pruned:

plumbago auriculata pruning trimming
Plumbago after pruning

I wanted to trim off the parts on top as well to shape it a bit better but I was afraid to, I thought perhaps I would be chopping off too much.  The soil is still damp from this week's rain so I let it be.  When it dries I will give it some fertilizer  to help it a bit.  The sun will also be beneficial I think, let's hope it doesn't rain any time soon to give it some rest.


  1. I trim mine lightly, whenever a bit leaps out and catches me as I walk past. When we saw them growing wild, where they are at home in the Eastern Cape - they clamber up thru trees. 3 or 4 storeys high!

  2. Your plant is looking great! Lovely photos