PRUNING IS ONE of those necessary gardening tasks that often goes awry or is intentionally neglected for fear of doing it wrong. No need for concern! Follow these Pruning Made Simple guidelines to get it right.
1. What is the intended goal?
Overgrown holly bush along the driveway scratching the car? Leggy growth after hydrangeas finished blooming? Roses? Usually, pruning is an opportunity to encourage more blooms, for shaping, or merely for convenience.
2. What is the best way to accomplish the task?
Is the plant an evergreen tree? Spring or summer flowering shrub? Climbing or old garden variety shrub rose? Lirope ground cover? Spend some time researching the natural growth or bloom habit of a specific plant. Let that be the guide because every plant has particular methods of pruning to achieve the desired result.
Three Strategies For Pruning:
1. Pinching: finger method for removing thin, young shoots/growth
2. Heading: shortening limbs and shoots to encourage fullness; rejuvenation and maintain shape
3. Thinning: controls size and shape
Consider thinning first because it allows more space between existing main branches which enables the remaining branches to fill out. Heading has a tendency to stimulate growth. The natural form could be sacrificed if ample room is not available, causing the new, robust growth in an undesired direction. Head carefully.
Pruning is basically intended to promote a healthier, more attractive plant, and whether large or small, all plants benefit. The plant will reward with larger and more numerous blooms. And sometimes less pruning will be needed because resulting new growth can follow its genetic predisposition. Happy Growing!
For more information on gardening in Louisiana visit lsuagcenter.com.