You've planted out your Murrayas now what?
Spring is sprung… It’s time to manage your garden, if you haven’t already done so, before the heat of Summer beats you back inside.
We want bushy, right?
Fortunately for us the plant leaves behind little command posts at each node (the point at which leaves emerge from the stem). Each time we cut the leaders off a plant, the meristems spring into action to replace the leader. Two or more new stems are created and if we tip prune these new leaders we have a multiplying effect yielding dozens of new leaders and yes now we have a bushy plant!
So lets apply this to your Murrayas.
If the blooms have finished it’s time to get pruning. Think about the desired size and shape of the plant and prune to that objective. Remove any leggy or spindly growth and dead or crossed over branches.
Consider how big the plant is going to grow in response to your pruning..is it low enough? It’s always is hard to cut mass from the plant but fear not!, it will usually come back stronger than before.
Now for some of you, your large shrub has gotten out of hand and you want to fill in the lower part.
Just pruning the top is not going to achieve this ambition. You either have to cut back really hard, replace the plant entirely or plant new ones in front (least favoured method due to space constraints and capture of resources by the larger plant).
You can see that it’s better to prune lightly, prune often! Just pinch out the growing tips on a weekly basis. Once in a while you may have to undertake formative pruning, just like with the kids…
Plant demands at this time of year are high!
You can hear them calling out for water! And minerals! Be liberal with the hose and carefully spread fertiliser around, avoiding contact with stems, watering in well.