During the spring of 2017 I tried to plant a few tamarind seeds that I picked up from one of my travels. Two of them are growing quite well but the plants are just growing vertically, without any "strong" secondary branches.

Now they are around 40 cm (15 in) high (without the pot) and I really don't know how to prune them. Since I'm not an expert when it comes to tropical plants, can someone please help me or give me some suggestions about how I should prune it? Is winter the right season to prune it?

I'll be changing the pots soon because they are getting too small for the size of the plants.

Plant in pot

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1 Answer 1


Tamarindus indica are large trees with an upright growth habit, and like most trees, the first thing they do is grow straight up, at the same time as putting down good roots into the soil. As the roots develop and the sapling gets taller, branching occurs naturally, but you've got yours contained in a pot. It won't continue to do well in a pot and really needs to be planted outdoors if you live somewhere with a suitable climate, info on the tree here https://balconygardenweb.com/how-to-grow-tamarind-tree-growing-tamarind/.

Otherwise, if you are not able to accommodate it outdoors, consider growing it as a bonsai, which would involve regular pruning and training. Information on how to create a Tamarind bonsai here https://www.bonsaimary.com/tamarind-bonsai-trees.html - you'll need to scroll down a bit to get to the pruning/training part.

  • If you go down the bonsai route, note what it says about the first tree in that link - it was allowed to grow to two meters tall BEFORE pruning and training started. Also, note that the trees in those pictures are probably all at least 20 years old - the web site says one of them was "collected" (from growing as a normal tree) in 1998. (A bonsai is for life, not just for Christmas....)
    – alephzero
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 21:42

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