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RE: rubber tree getting too tall (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tapla on 08.26.2014 at 09:26 pm in House Plants Forum

It would have been better if you'd given some consideration to the timing of your pruning operation some time in early July. If it was my plant, I think I'd forgo any hard pruning until late Jun or early Jul of next year. I would probably repot (a full repot as opposed to potting up) around Father's Day and cut the plant back quite hard around Independence Day. This would put you in sync with the plant's natural rhythms, instead of fighting against them. For now, I would probably only tip-prune all the stems enough to facilitate moving the plant indoors.

Al

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clipped on: 08.29.2014 at 05:55 am    last updated on: 08.29.2014 at 05:55 am

RE: Need Information: Aloe Ramosissima (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: caudex1 on 05.05.2010 at 12:04 am in Cacti & Succulents Forum

It will grow during the summer as long as it's not too hot, over 90f it will start dormancy. They can take summer water as long as the soil drains completely, if not you'll rot it out. Doesn't like wet feet. Like Jeff said you can't change it's seasonal growth pattern.

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clipped on: 07.11.2014 at 09:03 pm    last updated on: 07.11.2014 at 09:03 pm

RE: Prune top to promote branching? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: tapla on 12.30.2013 at 02:20 pm in Adenium Forum

"Never prune for the sake of pruning" is very good advice.

Growth is measured as an increase in mass. Often, branches might be extending, but the plant really isn't growing because the plant might be shedding parts at the same rate it's adding new growth. When you remove photosynthesizing surface (leaves and young green branches) you reduce the growth rate; so it's better to leave branches and foliage on as long as possible, removing them when your plant has grown to a satisfactory size and you want to start refining it's shape. Once you get to that phase and start pruning, you can expect growth to slow considerably - true of all plants.

In bonsai, we often have what you might consider to be 2 plants in 1. We have selected and are training branches in strategic locations on the tree, while other branches might be sticking out at odd angles and be bent into strange positions to allow light to the important branches. We use the branches that will later be used to fatten certain parts of the tree and to pull energy away from the branches we WILL be using so the leaves grow smaller and internodes shorter.

Understanding how to manipulate plants and bend them to your will, adds a whole new dimension to caring for plants, so much so that I no longer have interest in growing anything for the simple sake of just growing it. If a plant doesn't lend itself to being manipulated into something that is different and appealing to the eye, it holds little interest for me; and whenever I prune you can bet I'm looking at the plant as it will be well into the future. IOW, I always have a plan.

What I said was offered only as food for thought, and to reinforce the idea that there can be much more to growing than just watching plants grow.

Al

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clipped on: 04.07.2014 at 06:34 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2014 at 06:34 pm

RE: Pruning ficus lyrata to branch? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tapla on 03.29.2014 at 09:54 pm in House Plants Forum

Auxin transport is polar, meaning it flows almost exclusively toward the roots. This means that it's transported in phloem tissues, so you'll need to cut all the way through the phloem until you hit secondary xylem tissue (it will be white). The easiest way would be to make 2 cuts, very close together, one cut a short distance above a leaf axil or leaf bundle scar, and the next cut about 1/16-1/8" above the first. You'll be removing a thin wedge of bark about 1/4-1/3 of the branch/stem circumference wide. Use a very sharp tool.

Removing the wedge halts the downward flow of auxin, which allows the latent bud to be stimulated to growth by other growth regulators.

Al

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clipped on: 04.01.2014 at 11:50 am    last updated on: 04.01.2014 at 11:50 am

RE: Rubber Plant Pruning for Bushiness -- AGAIN (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: tapla on 03.29.2014 at 04:56 pm in House Plants Forum

If your goal is to maximize ramification (branch/leaf density), you'll want to cut both plants back to 2 healthy leaves. From the axils (crotches) of each of those leaves, you'll get a branch. Allow those branches to extend to at least 4 leaves, then cut back to 2 leaves. Keep pinching that way to produce a very compact (for elastica) plant.

You'll get best results if you wait until summer to start your pruning plan because summer growth is naturally more compact. Also, avoid fertilizers that use urea as their N source. Urea promotes lanky growth. Fertilizers like Foliage-Pro 9-3-6, that get most of their N from nitrate sources help to keep internodes short and plants compact.

Al

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clipped on: 03.30.2014 at 03:24 pm    last updated on: 03.30.2014 at 03:24 pm