tibouchina needs help

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by pam, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. pam

    pam Member

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    Roberts Creek, BC
    Hi there,

    Can anyone offer some advice?

    I have a purple flowering tibouchina and brought it inside last fall Oct/early Nov. before any frost and it immediately dropped leaves. I panicked thinking it didn't like the darker room so I watered it and moved it to our sunroom (south facing) where it has stayed all winter. (But this is too warm for it.)

    Then it got aphids (last week I noticed them) I have sprayed daily with (baking soda, dish soap and a little oil and water) and now the new leaf tips are black and dried out. (oops) I have read some related threads and would like some more info. When overwintering does it need lots of light or is it better in a garage? Don't have a greenhouse and everything I kept on the back deck froze this year -6. Sunshine Coast Zone 7/8. I could overwinter it in in our bathroom which is not heated and has an east window - but would this be enough light? When can I put it outside in spring or wait until May or June and would it do best in full sun? I was told only morning sun before. I also wait til it dries out (in the winter) and then soak it but perhaps am overwatering too. Can you prune it back into older wood or just prune back the new green growth?
    Also when would you fertilize and with 20-20-20 or something else?

    should I just cut it way down to where the new shoots started emerging (near the bottom) ? It's very straggly looking about 3-4 feet tall.

    Can I just cut off the tips of the leaves that have blackened or leave them alone or remove them entirely? All leaves on last years new growth have been eaten or dried up and fallen off.

    Thanks Pam
  2. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Vancouver, BC
    Well, you have indeed worried about this plant.
    Sometimes it takes a little while to get the hang of growing plants
    that are not at home in our climate. Special growing conditions make this
    kind of gardening a challenge. You might want to take a seminar in growing
    exotic plants; you may be amazed at how easy it can be. A little additional
    knowledge will help make sense of what is in fact happening with your plant.
    Usually plants respond to adverse growing conditions by showing symtoms of stress - their way of speaking back.

    Prune back hard in late winter and then in Spring and summer pinch out the growing tips to produce a dense bushy plant.

    The soil should have good drainage; the plant does however like plenty of sunshine and heat and lots of water. In the winter it little water by contrast.

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