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Recently picked up gardening again and started with a small but diverse range of flowers,herbs and vegetables. The last time I did gardening was back in the 80's I have been educating myself as I go along and already controlled a outbreak of Green looper caterpillars. So might be green(not a bad word here) in certain terminology. The main point is these plants have been with me for about 2 months and getting established.

After the insects signed a peace treaty I started pruning some of the basil plants and even some of the thyme. The results have been awesome with the plants growing back with renewed vigour.

The Vietnamese mint/coriander(Polygonum odoratum) has been growing nicely but getting a bit tall and not as bushy as I would like. In my mind there is a fundamental difference between Basil and Vietnamese mint as the mint does not branch as much as Basil. The mint seems more like a true mint even though it is not a mint at all. Thus creepers instead of branching out.

I been searching on google on pruning tips for the Vietnamese mint but its either in Vietnamese or very light on details.

So in a nutshell.

  1. Any specific pruning techniques required for the Vietnamese mint?
  2. In general pruning seems to help the plant by removing the dead/sick/infested parts of the plant and this mean the roots can use the extra energy to produce better growth. Is this theory valid for all plants.
  3. I tend to prune every 2-3 weeks and not heavily just take some tips away to ensure the plant does not grow tall top heavy and yields less than I would like it to. Is it too much or too little? Most advise mention a couple of weeks and a couple in mind is 2... 3 is a crowd but I am just pedantic at times.

Any pointers would be appreciated.

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Vietnamese coriander is now known as Persicaria odorata - there is conflicting information on the internet regarding its height and spread, with one site describing it as a low growing ground cover, but the general consensus seems to be that it reaches around 30 cm, with a spread of up to 25 cm. If yours is a bit lanky, it may be it's not getting enough light or doesn't have enough room around it if its hemmed in by other plants. If its in a pot, it may need repotting quite frequently to allow sufficient root room. As for pruning, none is necessary, as such - 'pruning' consists of clipping off parts for culinary use; pruning out any diseased or dying parts is a good idea as a general principle for all plants. Image and general info here http://www.manorfarmherbs.co.uk/+/herbinfo/vietnamese_coriander

  • Might just be that. The instructions that came with the plants(little inset) said I should keep in partially shaded area and avoid extreme direct sunlight. Thus it is standing under my shade netting on the balcony outside. It is in a large pot either 51/41 cm diameter. I have built a grow cage in my garden which uses very light shade netting as my location in Western Sydney can easily reach around 38-40 degrees on a hot day with no cloud cover. I layered some shade netting which only blocks 10% (i.e. 90% penetrates ) of sunlight. My leaves plant is definitely not showing purple as per link. – Namphibian Nov 18 '16 at 2:57
  • If you can, can you add a photograph of your Vietnamese coriander? Just to make sure its the same plant I'm talking about.. it might not like strong sun, but it does need reasonable daylight – Bamboo Nov 18 '16 at 14:06
  • Yeah they they same the plant started developing the purple colouration over the last two days. I also moved into the shaded grow box I built and it seems to be functioning a little better. – Namphibian Nov 20 '16 at 7:28
  • Bamboo thanks a million the plant is doing so much better. Your advise about moving it into a new position was just what she ordered. – Namphibian Nov 24 '16 at 18:01
  • Thanks for the advice the plant has gone from stringy to a bush in less than 3 weeks. It was definately in the wrong space. Level 1 gardener badge achieved. – Namphibian Dec 1 '16 at 10:08

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