The Q&A Archives: Pruning a Cabbage Tree Plant

Question: I have a cabbage tree plant that is about six feet tall. It has three side sprouts growing out, with each being about six inches long. Because of the height of this plant, it needs to be cut. But I have been fearful of cutting it because it has been such a good producer. I tried re-planting the side sprouts - but they died. What is the best way to cut this plant? Thank loads. Dr. Angel Carson, CA

Answer: I am a little confused about what type of plant you are describing. One plant called a cabbage tree is a tropical plant with a tall, sturdy stem topped by a cluster of leaves. But when you mention that your plant is a good "producer" I am assuming you mean it provides you with an edible crop. Perhaps you mean a member of the cabbage family that has been allowed to grow to tree height. If this is the case, I'm not sure that you can cut it back and still keep it growing. You might try to stake itup with a sturdy pole. You can try contacting your local Cooperative Extension office; they will hopefully have more information about this type of plant. The number is 213/744-4854.

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