about my rubis althea - Knowledgebase Question

jackson, Oh
Avatar for klswick
Question by klswick
August 6, 2010
it is about 6 ft at the tallest point and in partial bloom, very healthy. the limbs are so long and heavy they are all falling over, not growing straight up. can i tie them?, trellis? i grew this plant to cover wires and a telephone box on the outside of my house, which with the limbs hanging down, it doesn't do.

Answer from NGA
August 6, 2010
You can drive a few stakes into the ground and tie them upright. Sounds like the new growth is overwhelmed by the weight of the flowers. I'm assuming you mean that the branches are bending toward the ground. If so, know that they will toughen up as they get older, and you can help by pruning them next spring. Next year in March or April, before they break dormancy in your area, clip the stems back by 1/3 to 1/2 - clip the upright stems less and the drooping ones more. I know you'd like to get them tall, but by clipping them in the spring and clipping them back each spring, the plant will become more bushy and you'll be clipping the most curved ones back so that they don't droop permanently. Hope this clarifies things for you.

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