August 1, 2008
Notice the tree. That is a California redwood planted due north
of the San Pedro. This allows full morning sunlight with afternoon
shade. That is the ideal situation so the plant does not get a lot
of sunburn, or develop a yellow appearance.
This San Pedro is about 14 feet tall—and about 50 years old.
Hundreds of cuttings have been harvested over the years. In fact,
the owner would cut down ones about to fall on the driveway and toss
them on his brush pile.
I've never seen a San Pedro grow taller than 12 to 14 feet because
the columns sway in wind storms, then snap off. They simply don't
have enough strength in their core. The bases will become very
woody, but the upper tips have less wood in that area.
In fact, I have seen this plant lose limbs from the weight of
flowers. Believe it! When too many flower stalks cover a tall
upper tip their weight can make it lean over, then break off.
The point is that these plants are by nature huge landscaping
plants. To keep one in a house means only that you have to let it
become root bound, water it less, etc.
Outdoors, planted in the earth, the roots will spread out. It will
find its own supply of water to become as large as it is genetically
capable of being.
But many plants can be kept indoors as house plants. Just please
don't email me to ask what size container to use; my answer is
always the same—the largest one you can get.