Caesalsalpinia pulcherrima - Knowledgebase Question

Avatar for gmsusa2010
Question by gmsusa2010
June 9, 2010
I planted 2 of these 2 years ago. Only in house for 12 weeks during that time, so no time to prune etc. Now both plants have little foliage, and look on the verge of dying. Many branches have fallen off. They are watered by sprinklers at night, and have full sun in day. Replace them, or any rescue ideas please. I was attracted by the unique flowers when planted, but no blooms since. Thank you

Answer from NGA
June 9, 2010
Caesalpinia pulcherrima is also called Barbados pride, dwarf poinciana, Barbados flower-fence, and red bird-of-paradise. It is a full sun, drought and heat tolerant plant and should thrive in Temecula. Yours are probably unhappy with the amount of water they are getting. If you can't change the sprinkler system, try to find another garden spot for them. They die down in the winter months (usually) and should be pruned down to ground level before new growth sprouts in the spring. They flower all summer long as long as the weather is hot and they get full sunshine. At this point I'd move them to a drier area or disconnect the drip system and prune them back to just above ground level. They will need to watered only once a week during the hottest summer months and after pruning you should see lots of new foliage and lots of flowers. Hope they recover soon!

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