Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - March 14, 2008

From: Santa barbara, CA
Region: California
Topic: Pruning
Title: Branching on plants
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr SmartyPlants, I would like to cause my cerus peruvinesus (sp?) to branch low to the ground and another plant to branch higher up..what causes branching & how can I duplicate this?

ANSWER:

Not even Google could find the plant by the name you gave us, but after playing around a little bit, we discovered Cereus peruvianus, sometimes called the "night-blooming cereus." This is an upright cactus plant, originating in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the promotion and propagation of plants native to North America; therefore, this plant (if it's the plant you're talking about) is somewhat out of our area of expertise. However, we did find a couple of websites that might help you out. The first one is Cereus Peruvianus-The Least and Best Known Cactus. The other website is a page of images of Cereus peruvianus.

Your second question, on branching and how to duplicate it, I'm afraid we're not going to be much help there, either. Are you talking about a woody shrub or tree? Another cactus? Generally, speaking, plants branch where they wish to, they can't be trained to put out a branch where one is wanted. What you can do is trim off unwanted branches to expose more trunk, at least on a woody plant. Since we didn't give you the information you wanted, here are two suggestions: (1) If, after looking at the pictures of the Cereus peruvianus, you don't feel that is the plant you are talking about, perhaps you could send us a picture and see if we can identify it. There are instructions for sending a digital picture in the lower right hand corner of the "Ask Mr. Smarty Plants" page. (2) If you have a specific type of plant you want to try to change or control the branching on, you might let us know what that is, and we'll see if we can find some help for you on that issue.

 

More Pruning Questions

Pruning Copper Plants
February 06, 2013 - I planted two beautiful copper plants in my front beds. They went wild during the fall, but got so leggy that I cut them back nearly to the ground, which I believe was a mistake. Will they come back o...
view the full question and answer

Recovery of an agarita having been cut down from San Antonio, TX
August 16, 2013 - I had an agarita adjoining a cedar and a volunteer hackberry in my yard. The tree trimmers were supposed to cut out the hackberry but unfortunately also cut the agarita back to the ground. How long ...
view the full question and answer

Should flower stems of Texas mountain laurel be removed after they bloom?
March 02, 2016 - Should I trim off the old flower stems from this years bloom on a Texas Mountain Laurel?
view the full question and answer

When is the best time to trim oak trees in Driftwood TX?
September 09, 2010 - When is the best time to trim oak trees?
view the full question and answer

Non-branching mimosa tree
June 26, 2008 - I have a Mimosa Tree, just about 2 years old, grown from seed. The problem with it is that it has not branched out, it looks like one long branch growing out of the ground, about 5 feet if stood strai...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.