Holly Bushes
Q.

Brafford Holly

Zone Newnan Ga 30265 | Anonymous added on September 9, 2018 | Answered

I have a row (8)of Bradford Hollys. Planted two years ago they are growing very well. This Summere two of the plants have sent up a shoot each that is over 30 inches. No side branches have emergedfrom these tall shoots. My question is if I cut them back say to ariund 12 inches will that cause side branch to sprout? If not what can I do to encourage side branch growth? Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    A.
    A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
    drtreelove
    Certified GKH Gardening Expert
    Answered on September 9, 2018

    You don't need to reduce the central leader so radically to promote lateral branching. Reducing by a few inches to one foot off the top will suppress "apical dominance" and allow lateral branching.
    You can also use a plant growth regulator with the active ingredient of 'paclobutrazol' which suppresses the hormone that facilitates rapid vegetative growth and promotes a bushier growth habit. But it's expensive.
    https://www.domyown.com/tide-paclo-2sc-p-11300.html
    Also, don't fertilizer with a high nitrogen chemical fertilizer that promotes rapid vegetative growth. Use a balanced, slow release organic product like this:
    https://www.domyown.com/dr-earth-organic-all-purpose-fertilizer-p-9485.html
    or
    https://www.domyown.com/espoma-hollytone-plant-food-434-p-9524.html?sub_id=9521

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