Syzygium cascade pruned for walkways

Syzygium Cascade is a lovely, Australian native hybrid shrub that can grow to about 3-4 metres tall and 2 metres wide.  It will tend to reach those measurements if the soil and other conditions are appropriate.  To learn more about making healthy soil read my blog: How to make healthy soil – transforming dirt into soil.

Syzygium Cascade has a cascading or weeping growth habit. This means it produces longer branches that tend to droop downward.

Pruning a Cascade depends on its location in the garden

Most people start pruning without standing back and taking a look at what plant is going to do in the garden. Is it there for a screen? Is it there to provide shade to other plants? Is it to provide a wall such as along a walkway? What’s its function?

A general rule of thumb is that if it’s to provide a screen then we want to promote thick, bushy growth. We do that by increasing the pruning regime to promote denser growth. However, if we need tall screen then we’ll want to also promote height.

We’d do this by allowing some branches grow upwards. As they do you’ll notice they will start form a weeping habit. Simply snip off the branches (twigs really) pointed to the ground and you’ll lift the branch back up into a standing habit.

If we have plants around their base we can snip the lower branches of the cascade to create a kind of alcove or cave for those plants. Syzygium cascade responds well to this type of sculpting.

When to start pruning Syzygium Cascade

How long is a piece of string? When to start pruning your Syzygium Cascade is a personal preference. Personally, I let S. Cascade grow without any pruning until they reach a significant height. It depends on the location but generally it would be about 1 metre in height.

Young Syzygium Cascade measuring about 80cm by 80cm The Cascade in the picture has not been pruned or snipped at all.  It’s been in the ground for about 8-10 months. It’s function is as a 3-4 metre screen.

Most branches are thickening from the main trunk and forking. Most are slightly cascading but they also have some strength to stand.

We should be mindful that when we prune, we change its growth habit for life. We can prune to reduce length, to facilitate growth, to shape and to lift.

With S.Cascade, we often just need to provide lift.  To do this we take particular branches that face the ground and snip them off where they meet the main branch.

To read about how pruning can ruin a plant, click here.

To read about threatened species, click here.


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