How to prune a shaving brush tree

Discussion in 'Caudiciforms and Pachycaul Trees' started by matthewpi, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. matthewpi

    matthewpi Member

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    West Halifax VT USA
    I have a shaving brush tree, bombax ellipticum, it is two feet tall it has two very green leaves and a caudex that is an inch in diamiter. I need to know how to prune so that the plant stays short and grows a large caudex any info will help. Thank you
     
  2. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
    Early in the Spring, just before the new growth begins, do a "hard" prune. Typically, you want to keep the main stalks less than a foot tall. If you are starting with a young seedling plant, like yours, you can keep it even shorter.

    Allow the plant to then send out new growth and just let it go. You can, if you wish, pinch off new growth once it sends out its second or third pair of leaves. However, this will stunt the growth of the trunk, as well.

    It will take several years to achieve a fat trunk, so be patient. Up pot the plant every year, allowing for the roots to lengthen and thicken. When the weather warms up, allow it to be outdoors. If you really want it to grow fast, you can place the plant in a raised bed during the warm weather and then pull it and repot in the Fall. However, any repotting or environmental change can be traumatic and is not without risk.

    I just keep mine in large pots, moving them outdoors during the warm weather, and indoors during the cold weather. Remember when you are bringing your plants outdoors to slowly introduce them to low light, then medium light, then full sun over a 3-4 weeks.
     
  3. Luckycharm

    Luckycharm Member

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    Re: How to prune a shaving brush tree?

    Great information! One question: What is a "hard prune" exactly? Where do you cut and how much?

     

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