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How to Revive an Outdoor Pom Bush

By Elton Dunn ; Updated September 21, 2017

The pom or powderpuff bush (Calliandra haematocephala) grows in hardiness zones 9b to 11 and produces fragrant red, pink or white flowers. This bush naturally reaches 12 to 15 feet in height and 10 to 15 feet in width, but old pom bushes can look straggly and overgrown. Revive these bushes over two to three seasons using the revival pruning technique. Prune each year in late winter to early spring while the pom bush is dormant, since it's easier to see the branches before the leaves develop.

Check your pom bush for signs of dead, diseased or damaged branches, which will weaken the plant. Dead branches do not move in the wind and feel hollow. Diseased or damaged growth may be discolored or scarred, or ooze sap.

Clip off dead, diseased and damaged branches at their base. If only the tip of the branch is damaged, clip back to a lateral branch instead, making your cut just after the lateral split. Spray your pruners with disinfectant after every cut to avoid spreading disease through the pom bush.

Prune off branches that crisscross other branches since this growth causes limb wounds, weakening the pom bush.

Identify the oldest branches that produce few flowers and leaves. Their bark looks rougher and appears more gray in color than newer growth. Cut off up to a third of the old branches.

Let the pom bush grow for the rest of the season. In the second year, again remove dead or damaged wood and cut off an additional third of the old growth. Then allow the shrub to grow through the spring, summer and fall until the final year of revival pruning.

Cut off the final third of old growth in the third year to complete revival pruning.


Things You Will Need

  • Anvil pruners
  • Lopping shears
  • Disinfectant spray

About the Author


A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.