The Q&A Archives: Pruning

Question: I have a Tibouchina Urvilleana and I'm having a hard time finding how of if it should be pruned. It grows in the shade but the top gets sun. The plant is about 12 ft. tall and looks like it needs to be cut back. I just would like to know how to prune it, so I do it right.

Answer: Tibouchina urvilleana, the Princess Flower, is native to Brazil. It prefers to grow with its roots in the shade and the top in the sun, and will grow quickly when its needs are met. To keep your shrub under control, pinch the tips out during the growing season, especially after flowering (usual flowering time is May-January). Pinching will promote bushiness. You can prune heavily in the early spring if your plant needs renovation. Prune back some of the stems all the way to the ground and cut back others only part way. Every stem you cut will produce one or two new stems in the springtime and new stems will emerge from the crown of the plant. Just try not to remove more than one-third of the healthy plant material in any one year to keep from over-stressing the plant. Because it's such a vigorous grower, Tibouchina can be heavily pruned annually to keep it looking its best.

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