How do you prune a swan plant

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  • #48522


    I have two very large swan plants,but they are ungainly and need cutting back for the new season,but every time I have tried,the pruned bits die.Anyhelp would be appreciated.

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  • #55734


    Yes Freddy -cut off any bits that have no leaves. Cut just after a node (one of the bumps on the stem where the leaves sprout out. Always cut on an angle so water will be inclined to run off (if it sits there it could start rotting or mould). Feed and water your plant well.

    Carol – plants in a pot can still get bushy – – prune about 200mm or 300mm up the stem following instructions above.



    On a similar subject – for the past few years due to having virtually no garden I have grown my swan plants in pots.
    They pretty much just grow straight up and only last a year or two.
    I’ve seen some amazing bushy plants around that seem to last a few years.
    They are planted in the ground – as opposed to a pot – I’m assuming if the roots can spread out so to will the foliage?



    Hello peeps, so im new and my caterpillars are doing ok, some fell off the plants and wiggle and squirmed until they died, which is sad but the other 27 are doing great. My plants on the other hand have had a ‘beating’. I have 4 nearly 2 meter high plants, the first 1.5 meter of the top is empty, no leaves just the whispy bits on top, the bottom has a few leaves still on. Can i chop the top whispy bit and re-plant and then cut the middle bare stem up to the lower leaves??? Thank you and i am in Geraldine.



    Thanks all for the helpful replies,
    Thought this may help the keen gardeners and newbies.

    The use of Epson salts in the garden.
    Epsom Salt is Magnesium Sulfate – Key Nutrients for Plants and Vegetables

    As spring draws near, some of the country’s top gardeners recommend using Epsom salt as an inexpensive way to start or improve your garden.

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    Cornell University Assistant Professor Neil Mattson says plants will show visual cues if they are starved for a particular nutrient. If a plant’s leaves turn yellow all over the plant, it can be a sign they need more sulfate. If lower leaves turn yellow between the veins (that is the veins stay green), they may need more magnesium. Some nutrient disorders can look alike so growers can contact their county extension agents either before they plant to test a soil sample or, if they notice a problem, they can bring in a plant for diagnosis.

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    Although magnesium and sulfur occur naturally in soil, they can be depleted by various conditions, including heavy agricultural use. But unlike most commercial fertilizers, which build up in the soil over time, Epsom Salt is not persistent so you can’t overuse it.

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    Epsom Salt is recommended by Master Gardeners and used regularly by commercial growers around the world. Tests by the National Gardening Association confirm that roses fertilized with Epsom Salt grow bushier and produce more flowers, and it also makes pepper plants grow larger than those treated only with commercial fertilizer.

    Here are some other tips for using Epson salt in the garden:
    •Houseplants: 2 tablespoons per gallon of water; feed plants monthly.
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    •Shrubs (evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron): 1 tablespoon per 9 square feet. Apply over root zone every 2-4 weeks.
    •Lawns: Apply 3 pounds for every 1,250 square feet with a spreader, or dilute in water and apply with a sprayer.
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    Jacqui sorry I am posting here. Windows 10 crashed my laptop and so I cannot do the task you set me, so please can you do it until you hear from me again – lost all my email contacts in the process. Thanks, Caryl



    You might find a few tips here:

    Pruning Swan Plants

    When to prune swan plant?

    Swan plant pruning

    Pruning swan plants

    Also, when you cut them back I suggest it’s a very good time to feed them with compost or other natural fertiliser.



    I’m no expert at this! Hopefully someone else will make suggestions. I’m going to cut mine back by about half – they’re very rambly – I didn’t summer prune.

    What I do know is that when you make the cut, don’t cut it level so that rainwater can pool on the cut edge, and you should cut just above a node – where new leaves will shoot out.

    I guess if the pruned bits die then I’ll trim the dead wood off too.

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