House Plants Grown to Tree Form
HOW TO GROW A HOUSE PLANT TREE
The basic rules for training a tree hold true for all the plants suggested above. Late winter or early spring is a good time to begin. Select a young plant which has strong tip growth, and be sure that the main growing tip is not harmed. A rooted cutting or seedling which is growing as one stem makes a good choice. Work toward a finished shape which will show a bare trunk topped by a ball, pyramid, cone, or umbrella of leaves and flowers.
Remove all side shoots as soon as they form on the young tree. This encourages the trunk to increase rapidly in height. Leaves, however, that grow along the trunk should be allowed to remain until the tree has begun to form a terminal framework of branches.
By the time a new tree is twelve inches tall, it will need to be in a 6- to 8-inch container. This allows room for a bamboo stake of sufficient height and diameter to accommodate the mature tree. Use Twist-ems to attach the trunk to the stake. If strings are used, there is always the possibility that they may scar the trunk, or cut it so deeply that the entire top of the tree topples over.
Repot whenever roots begin to fill the container. Give good culture in regard to light, temperature, water, and food. A sunny location is necessary in order to develop a straight trunk.
Remove the main growing tip when the trunk has reached the height at which you desire branches to form. Later, pinch out the branch tips to improve the tree's shape. From the time branches begin, turn the tree slightly every day so that it can develop symmetrically.
Chrysanthemum Trees. It takes about ten months to grow a tree chrysanthemum. Varieties 'April Showers, ' 'Gyokuhai, ' 'Magic Carpet, ' and 'Magic Light' have been recommended by one grower. Start with a well-rooted, compact, straight-stemmed cutting in March or April. Follow the basic rules for training a house plant tree. A cutting started in early spring can be finished at twelve to twenty-four inches in an 8- to 10-inch pot the following autumn.