Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

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mmcavall
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by mmcavall »

I do agree with the places you are proposing to cut. Maybe the yellow one could move a little away from the main trunk so you would have a plant with two branches (one upright, one to the right in the picture).
I'm a little concerned about the poting mix, it looks to organic or maybe peat, which is not good.
I have always this same doubt , whether wait until spring or not to trim..but since your poting mix looks kind of dangerous to this plant, I would reduce watering considerably now and let the plant alone (it will probably lose its leaves). Them, in spring, when you see the first signs of awakening, before resume waterings, take the plant out of the pot, do the trimmings and change the mix for something more grit. Repot the plant, wait a week or so and resume waterings.
Maybe someone has a different opinion.
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tasuccs
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by tasuccs »

Hi mmcavall, thanks for the tips! I'll wait until spring - I imagine the cuttings are more likely to take that way too, and I'd love to have them as an insurance policy so I can feel more comfortable experimenting with this plant.

I wasn't planning to but I watered deeply recently since the caudex was starting to get soft (I hadn't watered since bringing it home) so the soil looks much darker than it normally would. It's very chunky and has a good amount of crushed red tuff (similar to pumice), crushed perlite, vermiculite and quartz sand in it, as well as what appears to be coco fiber and mica flakes. It also has some unusual large oval hard seeds sitting on top that I'm not sure are supposed to be there. You may be right about a little peat since it's still quite dark, or maybe vermicompost, but since the nursery specializes only in cacti and succulents I'm not very concerned about it. I was planning on repotting it into a succulent mix later with some washed sea sand, crushed rock, LECA balls and terra cotta shards added, and revealing a little more caudex. Was debating whether to wait for the roots to fill out this pot or not, since the small hypertufa pot I have planned for it is still quite a bit wider. Any insight you have from your experience is very welcome.
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mmcavall
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by mmcavall »

I water my Pachypodiuns in winter, whenever the caudex is soft. But:
-they are light waterings
-my winter is relatively hot, rarely below 12 C celsius, usually as hot as 23 celsius.

So, be careful!
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Aiko
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by Aiko »

mmcavall wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:24 pm -my winter is relatively hot, rarely below 12 C celsius, usually as hot as 23 celsius.
That's spring for me!
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tasuccs
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by tasuccs »

mmcavall wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:24 pm -they are light waterings
-my winter is relatively hot, rarely below 12 C celsius, usually as hot as 23 celsius.
My average lows and highs in January are 10 and 18 C, so not far worse and that helps a lot. Thanks!
floring
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by floring »

Hi guys,
All the pictures shared here show Pachys planted in deep, large pots. Has this choice been deliberate to get a specific reaction from your plant? I have read a few articles/ references of people saying the deeper the pot the more branches/ foliage you will get and the smaller the pot the thicker the caudex. Can anyone comment on this, please? Does that match your experience, or has anyone experimented with both to be able to make a side by side comparison?
Cheers,
Florin
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nachtkrabb
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by nachtkrabb »

Hi tasuccs,
you have a nice plant here. How did you solve your task? What did you cut off? -- I admit I am curious as I have a similar plant and think I should really cut it. But I do not dare! :oops: :(
Thanks,
N.
Love and Revolution!
...and still more cacti.
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tasuccs
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by tasuccs »

Checking in again, sorry for responding late - forgot to activate notifications.
floring wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:46 pm I have read a few articles/ references of people saying the deeper the pot the more branches/ foliage you will get and the smaller the pot the thicker the caudex. Can anyone comment on this, please?
Hi Florin - I noticed the same thing, though as you'll see I decided to go in the opposite direction. It's an interesting contrast to the advice given regarding the related adeniums to plant them in shallow containers to discourage the formation of a tall oblong caudex. So it makes me wonder if it's just the established style for this plant. I suspect it has more to do with keeping the weeping, trailing branches off of any surfaces. My brother has the same plant from the same nursery, so if there are any interesting findings I'll post a comparison next year.
nachtkrabb wrote: Tue Jul 27, 2021 5:57 pm you have a nice plant here. How did you solve your task? What did you cut off?
Hi Nachtkrabb - Unfortunately my pruning, executed according to the diagram further up the thread, ended up being a hack job, I think I chucked my shears afterwards. Besides destroying lots of tissue it was poorly timed in the middle of winter semi-dormancy. I also impulsively repotted into a terracotta pot that didn't seem to do much good for it, and it was very slow to start in spring. In summer I repotted it again into a nice bowl on the suggestion of the potter, figuring I had nothing to lose - you can see in the first picture that it had barely grown and didn't even branch, probably because the poorly timed and executed pruning didn't stimulate any growth and it was suffering in its cheap clay pot. Since I repotted it, in the blistering heat of summer and into a much grittier mix with some volcanic top dressing, it has doubled in size! I think the very shallow pot forced me to raise the caudex too much, but I'm hoping it will at least create some unique root development. Come spring, I'll probably prune it almost all the way down to the caudex. Please let us know what you end up doing to yours!

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7george
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by 7george »

Pachypodium lovers need to look into bonsai books and pictures. These grow rapidly if kept in hot conditions.
If your cacti mess in your job just forget about the job.
°C = (°F - 32)/1.8
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nachtkrabb
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by nachtkrabb »

Hallo Tasuccs,
same problem -- no time to check the post... Thank you for your answer: This sounds like a real odyssey your little plant is traveling through! :shock: But on the pictures it looks as happy and healthy as can be. Splendid.
The pictures with your hand are especially useful to get an idea about size.

I admit: I never use terracotta pots or pots from unglazed clay. The roots stick to the inside of the pots, and my watering is definitely not adjusted to them. Somehow, sometimes you need more or less than with plastic or glazed terracotta pots. So I can understand that you moved your plant.

Well, about mine: Up to now I didn't dare to cut anything! :( ](*,) I admit I am a coward when it comes to cutting.
As there are by now some additional twigs growing out of the pot, I could start with one of them and see what happens.
You said that during dormancy is no good time to prune a Pachy? When would you recommend the drastic action?

Thank you.
Nachtkrabb
Love and Revolution!
...and still more cacti.
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nachtkrabb
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by nachtkrabb »

Hallo 7george,

this sounds like a good suggestion. Is there a bonsai book you would recommend? Or a website? Or some pictures in the web?

I am told a Pachypodium should have a cool winter to produce flower? -- Before the new windows, with cold air flowing freely, my Pachy flowered each and every year. But since the exchange, no flowers at all.

Thank you,
Nachtkrabb
Love and Revolution!
...and still more cacti.
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tasuccs
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by tasuccs »

nachtkrabb wrote: Tue Aug 31, 2021 4:27 pm I admit: I never use terracotta pots or pots from unglazed clay. The roots stick to the inside of the pots, and my watering is definitely not adjusted to them. Somehow, sometimes you need more or less than with plastic or glazed terracotta pots. So I can understand that you moved your plant.
Yep, I've definitely noticed the same thing, much more so in small or thin-walled pots, and especially in the sun. I only started growing recently and bought lots of terracotta before I discovered this. It's very noticeable, though I didn't make the connection until I saw a pinned post about it in this forum. I've transitioned lots of plants into glazed pots (or unglazed stoneware rather than earthenware) but since I have so many cheap, cute unglazed pots, I've started experimenting with sealing them with Danish oil. So far so good but I'll start to see next year how well it holds up over time.
nachtkrabb wrote: Tue Aug 31, 2021 4:27 pm I admit I am a coward when it comes to cutting.
As there are by now some additional twigs growing out of the pot, I could start with one of them and see what happens.
You said that during dormancy is no good time to prune a Pachy? When would you recommend the drastic action?
I feel the same way, it'll be scary but if I can rustle up the courage I'll prune almost all the way down to the caudex. Looking at show plants you can often really tell they're aggressively pruned, with lots of branches coming right out of the caudex. Further up this thread mmcavall suggested pruning in early spring as it starts to wake up. That aligns with what most people seem to recommend for winter dormant succulent plants. I know that repotting, pruning and rooting cuttings work best for me in spring since my summers are very hot and stress out the plants, so that's what I'll be doing. Best of luck!
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nachtkrabb
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by nachtkrabb »

IMG_5502 Kopie.JPG
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This year my Pachy sukkulentum flowered! In contrast to earlier years, it first had its leaves and then started to flower. Also, this years flowers were totally white, without the rose hue around the rim.
Well, I am grateful it flowered.

...but I have to admit: I have yet not dared to prune the plant... :oops:
Thus I repeat my question:
Pachypodium lovers need to look into bonsai books and pictures.
This sounds like a good suggestion. Is there a bonsai book you would recommend? Or a website? Or some pictures in the web?
Thanks
N.
Love and Revolution!
...and still more cacti.
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tasuccs
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by tasuccs »

nachtkrabb wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 10:02 pm IMG_5502 Kopie.JPG
This year my Pachy sukkulentum flowered! In contrast to earlier years, it first had its leaves and then started to flower. Also, this years flowers were totally white, without the rose hue around the rim.
Well, I am grateful it flowered.

...but I have to admit: I have yet not dared to prune the plant... :oops:
That's funny, mine just flowered today for the first time too! I haven't had the nerve to prune it either, especially after I saw the buds. I'm planning to prune the main stem back to the first branch (leaving the other branch so it's not relying on stored energy) in the hopes that it'll stimulate branching from the base and hopefully prune back the other existing branch once I have some solid growth going.

That's a beautiful flower you have there, looks quite different to the typical ones!

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nachtkrabb
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Re: Pachypodium pruning: suggestions are welcome

Post by nachtkrabb »

Hi tasuccs,
congrationlations -- what a beautiful flower! And it seems to come in a bundle, so there will be more. Lovely.
Well, yes, your flower is a surprise to me. The leaves, the buds & the flowering at the end of a branch are quite similar at our plants.
I just had a glimps at llifle: http://www.llifle.com/Encyclopedia/SUCC ... ucculentum
According to that, our both flowers are untypical. Maybe we have hybrids?

Interesting, thanks, I hadn't noticed.

I just noticed, that my P.succ. is not the only plant to flower differently than the last years -- whysoever.
N.
Love and Revolution!
...and still more cacti.
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