Last year I did a post on pruning Pachypodium Succulentum. However that was just a very mild prune just to see how the plant would react to a bit of a chop. It turned out that Pachypodium and indeed pruning it is quite high on my search term list. This year I am doing a very thorough prune including trying to propagate the plant via root cuttings. As you can see the top growth really has been getting thoroughly out of control. Realistically it is always going to be a bit lanky because there just isn't that much sunshine in the Netherlands.
Snap! With a very sharp and very clean pair of cutters I pruned back every single branch. As you can see I left a couple of centimetres on each branch (at least a couple of thorn pairs). From my previous pruning experiment I learned that it the new branches will sprout from these thorny bits and leaving a couple on means I have a bigger chance of a lot of new branches.
In this pic you can see a cut from last year and a fresh cut. I have dabbed all cuts with cinnamon to prevent any fungus problems.
Next up I took the whole plant out of the pot. The plant is from Ariane Cactus nurseries (their caudiciform plants are marketed as 'South African Pride' just like my Euphorbia Bupleurifolia and comes in the same gravely, pumice mix. The mix had hardened a lot and was quite difficult to get out of the pot. As you can see there was still a substantial bit of caudex underground and surprisingly few roots.
This part is quite speculative but I the root in 7 portions. 1 is not pictured and substantially larger than these bits. These bits I dried for about a week (just like the whole plant which I just lay down on my plant table). The other bit I tried to root in water but I was getting worried about rot and I just pushed it into the soil of my plumeria.
I hope the bits of root did not dry out to much but I planted them up again in some barely moist substrate.
I thoroughly washed the substrate to leech out any harmful salts and added a good amount of pumice to lighten the mix up a bit. As you can see I raised the plant up substantially because I liked the look of the bifurcated caudex. At first I as afraid this would make the plant look too tall and skinny but I actually think the balance is a bit better now. Because there are so few roots holding it in place I am using a little pot to add some support until the roots have regrown properly.