Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kiwi Vines and Butterfly Bushes in Spring

I trimmed back the kiwi vines in January, not easy to do as I'm pretty short even with the help of a long pruning stick. I have no idea how to prune kiwi vines and have found little in the way of information on them online or in my gardening books. I left a number of long arms of the vines intact and they look great so far. Whatever I did apparently caused no problem with the vines because they are full of flower buds and the leaves are growing bigger by the week. The leaves are turning from dark green to lighter green with a yellow colored fringe around the leaves. The previous homeowner had a huge metal sculpture built specifically for the two kiwi vines. The light shines through the middle of the leaves that flap around in the coastal wind. Who would have thought tropical kiwi vines would do so well in coastal weather, much less produce so much kiwi fruit?

We cut back the butterfly bushes to about 3.5 or 4 feet, they obviously hadn't been cut back in years. My husband brought out the chain saw to cut them back, the trunks were so thick on the bushes. They grew to at least 10 or 12 feet tall last year and could have flowered more than they did. I'm hoping the cutting back process will help them flower more and make them bushier overall instead of quite so tall. We'll see what happens. I love them so either way I'm happy. They are growing pretty steadily so far after pruning. I think once the weather heats up a little more they will have a growth spurt. Can't wait to see the blooms of purple and red, should be happening in a few months since everything tends to bloom later than usual in the coastal weather.

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