Can my leggy Desert Rose, about 4 years old, be trimmed? And, if so, how? It blooms well but there are few leaves on the branches which make for a "thin" and sparse look.
Desert Rose Mature Plant
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Trim back tall, overly vigorous shoots, cutting these long stems back to or just below the height of lower stems, making clean cuts just above a leaf node or junction with another stem. You can prune a desert rose year-round, though pruning the plant in late fall may promote a flush of new growth that is especially susceptible to cold weather damage. Blooming occurs on new growth, so timing pruning well before flowering encourages more branching and, as a result, more blooms to develop.
Prune back any crossing or damaged branches and otherwise shape the desert rose as desired.