A Beginner’s Guide to Pruning Plants

in Home Improvement

If you love gardening but you are a complete beginner, then you’ll no doubt be looking for tips on how to do it right. One key to a beautiful, flourishing garden is pruning. However, you’ll need the right tools and know-how to do pruning effectively.

In this guide on pruning plants for beginner’s, you’ll learn which plants need pruning and when, the tools you’ll require, and how to prune the right way.

Why Pruning Is Important?

There are a number of distinct advantages to be gained by pruning the plants, shrubs and trees in your garden. One of the obvious results is aesthetics. It’s a little bit like getting a haircut. When your garden has been neatly pruned, everything looks tidy with a more pleasing shape. The main reason we all desire to have a nice garden is because it looks good and regular pruning achieves this result.

Another important result of pruning is garden health. When you prune, not only are you reshaping your plants, you’re also removing dead branches or diseased portions of a shrub. This promotes plant health and lush growth.

Other results of pruning include preventing damage to property or people by not allowing trees and plants to grow out of control. Pruning also reduces the likelihood of animal or pest infestation in your garden.

The Tools You’ll Need

The type and number of tools you’ll need really depends on what you have growing in your garden, particularly whether you have tall trees and so on. As an example, if you need to prune dead branches on trees, you’ll need a tree pruning saw which comes attached to an extension handle.

Secateurs are the most commonly used pruning tool. They are like scissors for gardening, but with more cutting power and will be a staple in any gardener’s toolkit. You’ll use secateurs for pruning low-lying plants and any stems that are thin enough to cut without requiring sawing.

Long reach pruning tools are like secateurs, but which much longer handles.

Loppers are another common pruning tool. Two hands are required to use loppers and they are similar to a giant pair of scissors.

How To Prune Plants the Right Way?

There is no “one way” to prune plants, as it really depends on what your pruning goals are and the type of plants you are pruning. Some pruning is very easy and basic, while other more sophisticated pruning methods require training to do it right.

If you’re a beginner, start out by practising on small herbaceous plants.

Whether your plants are indoor or outdoor, work your way up to pruning bigger and bigger plants, focusing on removing dead leaves and branches, or encouraging plants to grow in a certain direction.

Key areas to cut on plants are just before a leaf node, or as close to the main stem or trunk as possible when removing an entire branch.

Never remove more than a quarter of a plant when pruning as this could kill the plant.

Which Plants Need Pruning and When?

Many plants will require pruning in spring to prepare them for the summer to come. With flowering plants, such as lilacs, rhododendrons and others, prune after the flowers have faded. This promotes new growth and well as improving the look of the plants.

Things like hedges need pruning on a regular basis so they maintain an attractive shape and to reduce injury from stray branches and stems.

If you are growing fruit trees in your garden, springtime is when you’ll want to trim back dead branches, remove dead fruit or any parts of the plant that are suffering disease. This will result in a more bountiful harvest the next time.

Monitor all the plants and trees in your home or garden to check for dead, decaying or diseased leaves and branches. These parts should be pruned anytime it’s necessary, as it prevents the spread of disease to other parts of the plants and promotes healthy plant growth.

The Wrap

For the most part, pruning your garden is not hard and is actually quite enjoyable and relaxing. Just arm yourself with the right tools, research pruning techniques, study up on what’s best for your particular plants and get to work establishing a beautiful garden.


Image Credits: cottonbro

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