We have a Cotinus in a large pot. We'd like it to have a compact rounded habit, rather than tall and rangy. When would be the best time to prune, and should we hard prune it, or just do so selectively? Should be prune more than once a year?
Some people prune these back to stumps every year just at growth starting time. You don't get flowers but great leaves. I'm think of doing that with mine.
I don't see it as a plant that could be trimmed to a rounded shape and kept like that without loosing its impact. Never seen that done though, maybe someone has.
Is it a clipped dome that you're looking for? Don't think cotinus lends itself to close clipping like that - it's an airy rangy plant by nature. Even when coppiced it has airy branches rather than looking like a solid dome.
If you want a clipped dome of that colour I'm sure there's something that would suit - possibly Hebe 'Mrs Winder'?
Last edited: 05 March 2017 12:55:16
Or Pittosporum "Tom Thumb"?
In my experience, the harder they're cut, the longer the new shoots and the larger the leaves. I like it that way, but it sounds like that's not what you want.
Thanks all for the advice. I'm not expecting a very tight, formal shape, like topiary, just a more compact and rounded shape. Now I know what to do!
As others have said, you can prune hard, but don't forget to feed and mulch afterwards, if you want to keep it healthy.