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Q.Dwarf Jatropha, When To Prune?

Zone 32817 | noe.pa added on October 23, 2021 | Answered

HI, I bought my dwarf jatropha this Spring. I live in central Florida. It looks really healthy, with good green leaves and continuous flowers. It has only two thin trunks, parallel and it does not show any branch yet. It was a bit over one foot when I bought it and now it is over three feet, I think. Should I pinch it or prune the top or anything to favor a healthy growth now that fall is coming (Florida fall, of course, not too cold) or I can wait until next Spring? I would like it to grow as a small tree, not as a shrub. Thanks!!!!!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 25, 2021

If you would like to grow it as a small tree, you should do everything in your power to prevent the tip from getting pruned. Once you do that, it will start branching at the cut, destroying the apical leader stem. It will become a shrub.

If you want it to be a small tree, make sure to allow that leader to grow, while keeping all others cut away, closer to the ground.

Keep in mind, pruning in this fashion may reduce natural crop load, significantly. Allowing it to form a shrub, as it would in nature, will increase production.

Here is an article that will help:


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