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poinsettia | euphorbia pulcherrima

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Posted by EDITOR 11 Jun 2010 - 7:01:00 PM

This poinsettia made me wonder again about our pruning heritage. It's pretty car-stopping, as I was driving past. So big, hitting its peak. But the bare legs!

The routine of pruning roses annually gets handed down, generation after generation. Clipping box hedges is a habit. Thankfully the ritual of hacking crepe myrtles back to knuckles seems to be dying out.

But with some plants like the poinsettia, almost every one you see would benefit greatly from the barest occasional tip prune. At least for a dense, shrubby form. This one's well on the way to tree status. Maybe that's the aim.

I wonder if many of these specimens are pot plant gifts eventually just shoved in the ground, unwanted and neglected. Or whether the milky sap their cut stems produce is too much of a turn off. Or that widespread hesitancy about when and how to prune.

Still waiting for my three deep red ones together in a large pot to show some colour. Pushed into a probably too shady location under a verandah, they get straggly if they're not knocked backed twice a year: once after flowering and again towards late summer.

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