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Best tips for pruning plants at home

Sep 12, 2015
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Most of trees and shrubs need pruning to control their size and improve display of flowers and foliage. For this you have to know about type of the plant and proper technique to prune it. After deciding upon right time of pruning one requires to make cuts carefully.

Making a cut

Making cuts correctly is an important aspect of pruning. First thing is to have clean and sharp pruning tools that no damage is done to surrounding tissues left on the plant. While cutting diseased plant parts it is advisable to use disinfectant before going for another cut.

A good pruning cut is made about 3mm (1/8 inch) above a bud. The cut should be a slanting one, with higher end above the bud. Slope of the cut shouldn’t be towards the bud because this makes the stem above the bud too long, which may cause die-back. An inwards slope collects water on the bud causing rot and other problems.

If the buds and leaves on the stem are arranged opposite then make a horizontal cut 3mm (1/8 inch) above the bud.

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Do not cut too far above the bud as it can cause die back of stem. Avoid too close cuts also, it can damage the bud and stem may die back to next bud on it.

How to prune

Basic form of pruning consists of removing dead, diseased and damaged stem and it can be done anytime of the year. However if you are doing pruning for specific reason like better flowering then you must know about the shrub and its blooming time. If you do not know anything about the shrub then you could prune one third of the shrub back to the ground every year, starting from oldest stems. It works for almost every shrub.

Pruning for better flowering

Plants which bloom from midsummer and flower on new wood (current season’s growth) should be pruned early in the spring. Take out old wood (previous season’s growth) as much as possible so that new growth appears all over the plant for blooming.

Plants which bloom early before midsummer and flowers on old wood (previous season’s growth) should be pruned right after blooming finishes on the plant. Prune old wood as much as possible. Cut one in three old stems to new shoots.

 

Pruning for better foliage

In this case simply remove previous season’s growth early in the spring to near ground level. It encourages new stems and foliage on the plant in summer and winter.

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