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Brachyglottis 'Sunshine' - pruning

polbpolb Posts: 198


We have a hedge of brachyglottis 'Sunshine' which has just finished flowering. I understand now is a good time to cut it back and it can be hard pruned, however I'm a bit nervous about doing this and killing it, as it's in quite a dominant spot and I love it! It ideally needs to be about a 1/4 1/3 of it's current height, as it blocks a view but if I cut it this much, there would be no leaves left. Is this OK?! Will the leaves come back in September? Or am I likely to kill it? :-/

Does anyone have any experience of cutting this plant back right into the dead wood?

Thanks :)



  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    You can prune now or you can leave it later to as late as early spring next year. If it's flowers you are concerned about, then prune now. Many people plant this more for the year-round foliage colour. For that, you can more or less worry less about when to prune. Regards to old wood, if you have left it to grow like this, and you are concerned about the look, you could just thin out nearly half of the wood and cut right down to a foot from the ground. This way, you can prune the whole bush alternating areas over 2 years. The rest, shape and cut according to your preferance.

    Last edited: 21 July 2017 17:15:03

  • polbpolb Posts: 198

    Thanks for your reply. We've just moved into the property and the previous owners have really let it over grow. We've been bold and cut a section of it right back, so fingers crossed it will soon come back and we can keep it at a suitable height!

  • aidanhoadaidanhoad Posts: 174

    I don’t know if anyone will see this but I just wanted to know how it went?!

    I’m having a similar issue myself and am really nervous to hard prune as under the foliage seems to just be really woody!

    Thank you for any advice or updates!!

    Aidan :)
  • polbpolb Posts: 198
    Hi Aidan,

    I did cut it back and to be honest it looked horrible initially as it was just woody, however it did then start to bud and grow back and now needs another cut!! I can't remember how long it took but I don't remember it being that long to show signs of life again in the section I had cut..maybe after a few weeks? I'm cutting it in sections so there's always some foilage still there and it was less stressful! :# I don't know but I imagine even if I cut it right down to the base it would still re-grow?  I really love the plant but it does look like you are cutting into dead wood! Good luck and I can understand your nervousness!! :)
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,173
    How could you doubt me @aidanhoad ? 😁
  • aidanhoadaidanhoad Posts: 174
    Hi polb,

    thank you so much for getting back to me - I will try a small section today and be brave! Will I lose flowers this year as a result of pruning? Should I just be brave and it down to the size that I want... can you tell I’m still nervous!!

    also hi AnniD, I had every faith in you!! :)
  • polbpolb Posts: 198
    I found that the new growth didn't flower that year but then maybe that was because I cut it at the wrong time? By doing it in sections there are then some bits that flower. It grows so well I think I'll have to cut it every year which is a shame as I guess this means it will never all be in flower at the same time?? I also took cuttings from it last year and they have all taken, it seems a very hard plant!

    Good luck Aidan! B)
  • aidanhoadaidanhoad Posts: 174
    OK, I’ve been bold. Now I am nervous - any reassuring words!?
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,173
    It's fine  :)
  • polbpolb Posts: 198
    When I cut mine there was even less green, yours doesn't look too bad at all, it will grow back in no time!! :)Lovely setting! B)
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