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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to Prune Texas Rangers

Q. Last year I read in your blog how to prune texas rangers.  Now I can't find that article.  Can you repeat it?  Thank you.
A. Maybe this is it.
Q. I would like to cut back some cassia, Texas ranger and rosemary plants that has grown too large. When is the best time to do so?
A. There are three cassias that are commonly planted here; feathery cassia, silverleaf cassia and desert cassia. They either bloom in the spring or spring and fall. This means the flowers have to be formed on last year's wood if they bloom in the spring.
            Basic rule of thumb is that plants that are not appreciated for their flowers then prune them back during the winter months after leaf drop. However, if it is very light pruning then you can do that any time.
Texas ranger sheared so flowers are removed
            On those plants which are grown for their flowers then prune them as soon as their bloom time is over regardless of the time of year. If plants bloom in the spring then prune them as soon as they are done pruning in the spring. This will give them time to initiate flower buds during the late summer for next spring’s bloom.
            If they bloom in the summer months, then they put flowers on spring growth. If you prune these in the spring you run the chance of pruning off all the flowers if they are not pruned correctly. This is very often done to oleanders when they are hedge sheared during the spring or early summer months.

What it will look like if it is not sheared
So with this in mind…. Removing wood from Texas ranger now also removes flowers so do not prune with a hedge shears or you will remove the flowers as well. Make your cuts deep inside the canopy, removing larger stems at a crotch and remove an entire stem when you do. Do not cut it just halfway back. Leave the newest growth on the remaining stems to bloom for you. By opening the canopy for light you will see new sprouts being produced deeper inside. These newer sprouts will produce wood for flowers later in the year and over the next couple of years if you do not cut off the growing tips.

 Next year, remove more older wood from deep inside the canopy and repeat this each year “renewing” older wood and reinvigorating flowering. I hope this helps. I attached two pictures of texas rangers taken in april. One was hedge pruned. The other not. One is blooming. The hedge pruned one had all the growth cut off that would have produced flowers.


  1. Why do landscapers prune most plants here in Las Vegas into squares and circles? They whack off the blooms just as plants are starting to bloom because they need to be shaped up AGAIN into squares and circles?

  2. They can't mow in desert landscapes so you gotta do somethin! How else can you charge for a service if you don't do somethin!