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Pruning Cotinus

KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,790

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?


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,159

    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.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,893

    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

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,720

    Or Pittosporum "Tom Thumb"?

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    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.

  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,790

    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!

  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,716

    As others have said, you can prune hard, but don't forget to feed and mulch afterwards, if you want to keep it healthy.

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
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