Pruning basics

Pruning is one of the most basic skill used in landscape designing. Read more to learn about this.

Pruning plants regularly is what mainly differentiates a garden from a wild forest.  Pruning is a technique intended to alter the form or growth of plants. Besides redecorating a landscape, pruning also helps in maintaining the health of a plant by eliminating undesirable parts, which hinder the development of a plant.

Basics of Pruning
Landscape Designing through regular Pruning

Pruning Basics:

  • Time for Pruning: It is best to prune your plants when they are actively growing. This is during the warm season when they can recover from the shock and stress of pruning. For flowering plants, prune after the flowering season is over to avoid snipping-off the newly developing flower-buds during its blooming-period.
  • Shaping-up a plant: Pinching-off the tip of a branch allows several branches to develop from the nodes below. This develops a more bushy and dense growth. Whereas, for developing a tree-like shape, remove the secondary branches growing closer to the ground.
  • Deadheading flowers: Pinch off the spent flowers for more profuse blooming. This encourages the plant to direct its resources towards developing more buds, rather than towards the spent flower. However, avoid deadheading if you wish the flowers to develop seeds.

    Basics of Pruning
    Crown raising- pruning to develop a tree-like shape

Pruning shears: 

Sterilize the pruning shears before pruning to prevent infections from spreading among plants. Use sharp tools to make a quick and clean cut. This reduces the chances of plants becoming susceptible to diseases.

  • Lopping shears: for branches that are less than 2 inches thick
  • Hedge shears: for hedges as well as succulent stems
  • Hand saws: for large branches
  • Pole saws: for branches that have extended beyond reach, achieving clean cuts and perfect shape through the use of pole saws is a challenge!

    Basics of Pruning
    Pruning shear

Advantages of Pruning:

1.  Improves Aesthetic appeal

  • It helps to improve the appearance of the plant that provides visual splendour to onlookers.
  • To accentuate the lush of your plants, try out ‘crown raising’, which means removing the lower branches of trees, including mature trees to allow clearance above lawns or driveways.
  • Prune hedges on fixed intervals, preferably about 2 inches from the last time it was pruned.

    Basics of Pruning
    Pruning improves aesthetic appeal of a plant

2.  Keeps plants healthy

  • Regular pruning of fruiting and flowering plants promotes profuse development of buds in next season. This is because flowers and fruits usually develop on younger branches.
  • Pruning eliminates unwanted fruiting structures, suckers and waterspouts which otherwise direct energy from fruiting and flowering branches.
  • It eliminates the dead and decayed parts of the plant which are usually prone to pests and diseases.
  • Ensure that weak or intertwining branches are detached from the tree. Pruning eliminates branches that criss-crosses to the centre of the tree enhancing air movement and deeper penetration of sunlight.

    Basics of Pruning
    Pruning to remove dead, weak branches

3.  Maintaining property

  • Pruning helps to keep the plant size in check.
  • Immediately prune branches that have trespassed onto the property of the neighbours.
  • Also, regularly prune the plants reaching towards the overhead electrical-lines to avoid the possibility of short-circuit and fires caused by it.

Happy Gardening

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