Pruning your Alyogyne Huegelii
How to Prune Alyogyne Huegelii and other Australian Native Plants.
From time to time I get emails about pruning Australian Native Plants and the feeling I quite often get is that there are many gardeners that have a misconception that Australian Natives don’t like to be pruned.
And this really couldn’t be further from the truth. Banksias, Grevilleas, Eremophilas and even Alyogynes all respond really well to a regular prune but I suppose for some gardeners it can be a daunting task as some are reluctant to go ahead and take the secateurs to a plant, just in case it doesn’t grow back.
Well I suppose the first thing to consider is that some plants should only be pruned lightly and not below the previous years growth. While others can be pruned back to bare wood if need be and they will regrow again. So knowing which of these groups a particular plant fits into can be very important if you want get the most out of pruning your plants……….. and probably the best way to find out is this………..
Just as your plant is coming into it’s normal growing season (spring in most cases) cut back part of the plant (maybe at the rear) right back to some bare wood and then just wait and see if it starts to sprout some new growth. If it regrows you know you can then prune it back really hard if need be and if it doesn’t you know you need to be a bit more conservative with your pruning.
Alyogyne Huegelii is one plant that will respond really well to harsh pruning and will regrow from older bare branches. Pruning this plant back really hard is a great way to rejuvenate an older shrub that has rarely been pruned in the past. It will also transform it into a more compact, denser shrub that will flower much more prolifically the following spring.
If you prune regularly though, then you may just want to prune it back somewhere between a 1/3 to 2/3 depending on your preference. I prune my Alyogyne Huegelii each year after it finishes flowering which is normally in about early summer.
Because of this I normally only have to prune off about 1/3 but if I wanted to I could have taken off quite a bit more.
So if you’re not sure how much you can prune your particular plant back then experiment. All plants are different when it comes to how hard you can prune them but once you work out what’s best for a particular plant then you can go about it more confidently and as a result you’ll end up with a much more compact plant that will look more attractive, will most likely be more wind resistant, may even live longer and best of all will flower so much more prolifically the following year.
And finally remember this, when you do prune your plants they can look a little bare for a little while afterwards (something like when you get a bad hair cut maybe?). But most Australian Natives will grow back fairly quickly so when it comes to the decision of whether to prune or not to prune, I can only say this…………
I always prefer a plant that will look a little strange for a month or two and then look fantastic for the rest of the year as opposed to one that’s not pruned at all and just looks average (at best) for the whole of the year.
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