Since late winter/early spring, my Claude Lorraine has been in trouble. It has always been healthy, beautiful and very, very full and robust. One could not see through it at all, it was very dense. At that time I pruned down the firespike plants in front of it. It did get more sun at that point and it promptly started defoliating big time. However, it defoliated much more on the right-front than left back. I had never paid attention, but when I looked closely, I noticed it's really two plants. You can see the two trunks close together that came in one pot. One of the plants defoliated much more and became scrawny and see-through. You can see that the plant on the right is much fuller and healthier looking.
The photos above show the two plants pictured from the back, the weaker plant, the two trunks, the better plant recovering more rapidly, and the new growth the better plant is putting out (just like the healthy, old growth).
I'm wondering what I should do, if anything. Should I just wait it out and see if the weaker plant recovers fully? It is putting out new leaves, but has tried to flower like crazy (I keep cutting them off in favor of new leaves). Should I cut the weaker plant down and let the stronger one take over and get fuller again? I feel like it is not just the incident of more sun causing the defoliation. I feel it may be a root problem. As plants get older maybe the nematodes play more havoc on the roots? What would you do? It's been maybe 4-5 months I've been watching it already. Thanks.