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Collard Greens

Q.How To Prune Tree Collard Which Only Has A Single Stalk But Is Making Smaller And Smaller Leaves And Bolting

Zone 95433 | Anonymous added on February 9, 2022 | Answered

I read your article about tree collards, but it refers to taking cuttings from branches. I would like to propagate more by taking cuttings, but not sure how to do this. My collard plant is about 3 feet high, this is it’s first season, it has one main stalk, which was producing large leaves from widely spaced nodes, but as it grows, it’s producing a lot of smaller leaves and the nodes are very close together at the top. Also, little side “branchlets?” are coming out just above each stem of each leaf, where it’s attached to the main stalk. Are these what I would use to make cuttings? They don’t seem to be true “branches” like where the main stalk splits into two or grows in a branching pattern. And it’s starting to bolt…little yellow flowers from side branchlets and main stalk. If I lop off the top of the main stalk, and use that for a cutting, will I lose the main plant, or will it branch? Does the bolting indicate the end of the plant? Should I try to remove the flowering parts? Also I’m noticing that the large stems of the large side leaves also have nodes…can I use these as cuttings to propagate? I’m uploading a photo. thanks so much for any advice you can give me. Deb

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 3, 2022

You may be able to stop the bolting process by snipping off the flowers. Bolting is a response to heat, and the plant then turns toward producing seed. The plant becomes woody and inedible.
Propagate by taking stem tip cuttings from the main stem or secondary stems. Do not cut woody stems though. Remove all leaves but two or three at the bud. Plant vertically into the ground or in nursery containers with only 1/4 of the cutting above ground.

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