Ask a Question forum: Tibouchina - To Trim or Not To Trim

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Mar 22, 2017 10:04 AM CST
So I planted a bunch of Tibouchinas about a month ago. 1 tree, 1 larger shrub, and about 10 smaller ones, possibly dwarfs, not sure how to tell yet. They're all so beautiful and most seem to be doing okay. Some of them get sun ALL day, from 8am to sun down, while some of them get only afternoon sun. I keep seeing articles online saying they prefer FULL sun, but don't like afternoon sun... I'm not sure which to go by.

Seeing as I live in FL and it gets hot in the afternoons, I've been watering all of them everyday with a dripline from 12:30-1:30pm, trying to keep them from getting too hot and wilting. So far this has been working great, but now that the 1st month is just about finished, I will be reducing watering times to only twice a week now. Hopefully this will be enough to prevent wilting...

My main question/problem is this... one of my tibouchinas looks like it was stepped on, and one of the main trunk/branches was broken almost in half. I have no idea how this happened, i noticed it in the morning after a very windy night, so I'm thinking there was already a break in the trunk I didn't see, until a strong wind came through and finished the job. The reason I think it was already broken, is because in the location where the break occurred, I didn't see any fresh wounds. It all looked to be dry and brown, as if it wasn't new.

However, half of the plant was basically laying on the ground (the other half was not damaged). I was so disappointed, I take very good care of my garden and plants, we have the nicest garden/yard in the neighborhood. But this poor tibouchina looked awful. I propped it up with a small stake and tied it to itself so it wouldn't move. This was about a week ago, and it seemed to be doing fine. But now I am noticing many of the leaves on the broken half turning bright red and fall off very easily. The half that is broken also has maybe close to 75-100 new flower buds ready to pop, as well as plenty of leaves and branches. Aside from the red leaves, everything appears fine still. No wilting leaves or flowers/buds. I even notice new growth coming from the break at the base of the trunk, which also leads me to believe this was NOT a brand new break, just a continued break. No way it would have grown this much in just a week. (See photos)

So my question is, should I just bite the bullet and cut off the half of my beautiful tibouchina that somehow broke? And leave it looking retarded and ugly for the rest of the year? Or do you think I have a chance at saving this beauty? I know it will grow back by next year if I cut it off, but it will look bad this year, and they're new plants so I was excited to see them blooming this spring/summer! Sad Plus I feel AWFUL cutting off close to a hundred flower buds that are about to bloom... what should I do?! Hopefully these photos help...
Thumb of 2017-03-22/visitor/60a78c
Thumb of 2017-03-22/visitor/f6514e
Thumb of 2017-03-22/visitor/06139c

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