Pruning Gabriel's Trumpet Plant


I need to prune a Gabriel's trumpet plant/tree to a canopy instead of straight up and down. Any advice?


Pam from DNA Point, CA



The idea behind pruning an Angel Trumpet plant, rather than letting it do its own thing naturally, is to force it into growing more limbs-therefore producing more flowers. This is done by leaving the new growth alone, and cutting the old growth back close to the trunk. To give your Angel Trumpet tree a more busy shape and thus create a canopy of sorts, you will need to cut some of the lateral (side) branches. Pruning the top branches will only stimulate growth on the top branches.

Ideally, the branches of your Angel Trumpet were allowed to grow into a "Y" before the plant received its first pruning. This would have left you with plenty of lateral branches to shape in the future. Unfortunately, sometimes these plants have already been trained into an upright growing habit before they are sold. If this is the case with your plant, you could try trimming a bit of the roots to try to simulate new lateral growth. Sometime this works, sometimes it doesnt.

If trimming the roots fails to simulate the type of growth your looking for, you may want to consider getting another Angel Trumpet to plant along side your current plant. When young, the stem of the new plant can be easily wrapped around your current plants trunk to create a double trunk effect (hold it in place with pantyhose). Over time, this will create a unique look and its branches will eventually grow and fill in to create a bushier look.



You might want to hire a landscape artist to sculpt the tree initially.

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Home and Garden Gardening Pruning AdviceMarch 20, 2008
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