This may not be a very attractive sight. These are Red Birds-of-Paradise that have been hard pruned. You may be wondering why in the world anyone would do this to a plant. In desert landscapes there are some plants that do best when cut within a foot from the ground. This should be done in the early Spring after the chance of frost is over. Some landscapers do this in the fall so that you don't have to look at dormant brown plants such as Birds-of-Paradise and lantana. But, there is the chance of damaging the plant if there is a cold winter. Hard pruning also helps to rejuvenate old woody shrubs such as Texas Rangers and Oleanders. Here's what you need to know.
Desert plants such as lantana, bougainvillea and Red Birds-of-Paradise are typically cut down each year to encourage new growth in the Spring.
Shrubs that can handle hard pruning to rejuvenate them from old woody shrubs to small full shrubs include Texas Rangers and Oleanders. Not all shrubs can be hard pruned and recover.
Using loppers, cut shrub branches down 12" to 18" from ground level.
Make sure to continue watering the shrub after the hard pruning. The roots will continue to grow and the shrub will need the water to recover.
As the shrub rejuvenates, monthly check to see if any branches are growing out at a bad angle or to an area where you don't want the shrub to grow back in. Selectively cut out those branches as needed.
Once again, only perform rejuvenation pruning on a shrub once every three years or more as needed. More frequent hard pruning will damage or kill the shrub. You should end up with a shrub that looks great the next year.
Take your shrub from this....to this.
Call us at (520) 370-5697 if we can help you with your Spring planting, cleanup or irrigation inspection.