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Star Songs

January 22nd, 2009

plant advice @ 10:49 am

Current Mood: worried worried

Hopefully someone out there has a green thumb. I have two plants in my office, a bamboo and a miniature Christmas tree. (No clue if it's spruce or fir or pine, some kind of evergreen.) The bamboo's really easy to care for, I fill the pot with water every Friday afternoon and leave the flourescent light on over the weekend. If I'm gone a week, just water it when I leave and again when I get back, no big deal.

The Christmas tree, on the other hand, isn't doing so well. I've only had it a few weeks, rescued from Banquets after its duty as a holiday centerpiece ended. It looked okay before I went on vacation last week, and the boss promised to water it a few times while I was gone, but apparently he forgot. The tips of the branches were all drooping when I got back and the needles were dry and prickly instead of soft. They're not falling out, but it feels like a cactus.

Anyway, I've been watering it every day and it's not as prickly, but the branches are all still really droopy. Think Charlie Brown's tree. If I prune off the drooping tips, would the remaining branches recover and start growing again, or would pruning kill it outright?

Poll #1335598 To Prune or Not To Prune

Should I prune the Charlie Brown tree?

Yes, cut off the dead branch tips.
No, just keep watering, it'll perk back up.
Trash it, it's hopeless.
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[User Picture Icon]
Date:January 22nd, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
Not sure about pruning it, but you might try repotting it into a larger pot. I have routinely killed miniature roses by leaving them in their original pots, and the last time I bought one the clerk told me they're only good for a week or so until they need to be repotted. Something about the soil they use. The little pine might have the same thing - only meant to last until the season's over.

Repot it, fertilize it, and don't overwater it. See what happens.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:January 22nd, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Maybe it needs some sunlight? It is also possible that it got over-watered...
Date:January 23rd, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
I have a pink and purple polka-dotted thumb. I still can't grow weeds. The only thing I've been able to grow is a rubber plant named Bob.

Good luck with the tree, whatever you decide!
[User Picture Icon]
Date:January 23rd, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Here's what I found for you on this website.


What to Prune

Corrective pruning for evergreen trees consists mainly of dead, diseased, or damaged branch removal. Remove dead wood promptly, by cutting dead branches back to healthy branches. When pruning diseased branches, make thinning cuts into healthy wood, well below the infected area. Thinning cuts remove branches to their points of origin or attachment. Disinfect tools between each cut with products such as "Lysol," "Listerine," or rubbing alcohol. Tests have shown that "Pine-Sol" and household bleach are highly corrosive to metal tools.

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