Pruning is the practice of cutting away parts of a plant. Pruning is most often done to maintain the shape or size of a plant, or to promote new growth.
There are two main types of pruning: structural and therapeutic. Structural pruning is performed at certain times of the year to promote the health of the plant and its growth. Therapeutic pruning is performed when a plant gets a disease or injury, and requires special care to heal.
Prune plants at the right time of year for the best results when doing structural pruning. For example, early spring is the best time to prune roses, as this removes any diseased or dead stems and stimulates new growth.
When doing therapeutic pruning, be careful not to cut too much off, or take out an entire branch- it may take a while for the plant to heal! Make sure to take steps to help the plant heal properly.
Pruning is done for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, pruning is done to control size, shape, and overall structure of a plant.
Controlling size is one of the most important reasons to prune plants. Pruning can be used to direct growth, especially when plants are young. By pruning young plants, you are able to shape them into their final form.
Pruning older plants can help to curb growth and avoid overgrowth or gowing into other plants or structures. This is very helpful if you have a large plant that takes a long time to grow and you need to keep it in a small space!
Other reasons to prune include enhancing flower production, decreasing disease risk, and increasing productivity (berries and nuts).
There are two main types of plant pruning: selective and structural. Selective pruning is the removal of parts of the plant that are not contributing to the overall structure or shape.
This can be shoots, leaves, stems, and roots. Selective pruning can be done annually, bi-annually, quarterly, or whenever the plant needs a little tune-up.
Structural pruning is the removal of whole branches or roots. This is usually done once a plant has grown out of a stage where it needs more room to grow. Structural pruning is usually done once a year, but can be done bi-annually or quarterly depending on the plant.
Both selective and structural pruning can be done for health reasons as well. To remove infected parts of the plant, selective pruning is done. For structural pruning, this is done for health reasons as well as to give the plant more room to grow.
Pruning should be done in the growing season. The best time to prune is just before new growth appears. This is when the plant knows what size and shape it will be as the new growth appears.
Prune after a healthy growth period, usually once a year. This allows your plant to re-establish itself in size and shape before the next growing season, giving it a healthy start.
Preventing pruning mistakes is the best way to keep your plant happy! Over-pruning can cause your plant to die, so do not over-do it. Check up on your plant’s needs, and do not over-prune.
Prune dead or diseased parts of the plants, as well as any stems that have outlived their usefulness. Doing this will help the plant reestablish itself.
A great source for plant pruning information is the American Society for Horticultural Science. They have a newsletter you can sign up for and they give great tips every month!
They also have a plant pruning guide which goes into depth about when to prune specific plants. This is a great resource to look at before spring planting season!
You can also learn more about plant pruning by going to your local garden center and asking someone who works there. They will most likely have some tips or knowledge that they have picked up themselves or from training.
Hopefully you have learned some basics about why plants need to be trimmed and how to do it safely and effectively! Pruning helps plants grow stronger and healthier, so this is a skill that will come in handy often.
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