Ask a Question forum: Myrtle topiary dried up

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Janina_315
Aug 15, 2017 12:50 PM CST
Hi I bought my first topiary myrtle and was not careful it dried up. It's still thriving as I can see some new growth here and there but my question is, should I prune all those dried up twigs and leaves?if so how short? Should I dead head them? Can I prune the new growth to maintain shape or leave it? Please see picture. Thanks!
Thumb of 2017-08-15/visitor/f751bb

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Aug 15, 2017 5:01 PM CST
How sad. Sad This is not a forgiving plant when it comes to keeping the soil moist. Unfortunately, none of the dried leaves will ever recover. Assuming the roots are okay (and they probably are), new growth will emerge, but only at the tip ends of the stems. Eventually, as the dead leaves drop off, you will be left with long, leggy, bare stems with leaves only at the tips. It may be alive, but it will be quite unattractive. Confused

Your only hope is to prune back all of the stems close to the main stem. The point where you prune back to is where the new growth will come in. You will want the new growth to come in close to the main stem. Keep that in mind when you are deciding where to prune.

After the pruning, the plant will look shockingly denuded, but you have to trust that over the course of several months enough new growth will come in that it will start to look presentable. If you don't have the patience for this, then discard the plant and move on. Sighing!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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Janina_315
Aug 15, 2017 5:16 PM CST
Hi WillC,

Thanks so much for your response. Yes! I can prune! I was just kinda scared that I might kill it through too much haircut.. 😀

I am up for this challenge! I've risen the dead before! 😇 just wasn't sure to prune or not to prune but alas! I will try to post another pic if I get successful. Thanks a bunch!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Aug 15, 2017 6:49 PM CST
In the course of pruning, you will be able to see if some or any of the stems are dry and brittle. If so, those are dead and won't recover and can be cut off completely.

Good luck with it!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
ON
Janina_315
Oct 19, 2017 8:31 PM CST
Hi WillC,

It's been a few months and here's what I've been nursing... Just want to thank you again for your response and help the last time.. Patience is truly rewarding.

Janina
Thumb of 2017-10-20/Janina_315/09ae5f

Hurray!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Oct 20, 2017 5:08 AM CST
Janina - Thanks for the follow-up photo. It looks great. You have done a terrific job!

~Will
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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