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What is Pruning | Why Prune | Foliage | Roots |

What is Pruning?

Pruning is the selective removal of plant parts including, leaves, branches, flowers and roots, essentially trimming your plants!


Why Prune?

Pruning is not just for dead leaves and unruly growth!

People are often hesitant to prune. Which is understable, we want our plants to get bigger not smaller right?

But did you know, your plant will grow faster if regularly pruned. Pruning encourages new growth, makes your plants more attractive as you can control its growth habit. You can safely prune up to 1/3 of your plant.

Foliage prune

Prune Foliage and Aerial Parts

Leaves – You can prune any dead or dying leaves by snipping them off at the base, by cutting at the base of the leave, it can encourage new growth to emerge from that node. You can also prune healthy leaves to encourage growth from that point. For plants it is normal for older leaves to begin to die back, while they can be pruned at any point, pruning when they begin to turn yellow will help to save your plants energy.  However if there are a lot of leaves dying at the same time, it’s time to investigate if something else is going on.

Branches – the same rule applies, prune back to where a leaf emerges. This is the point new growth will come from. If you have ever pruned above a node, it’s fine but that part of the stem is most likely going to die back, this can attract pests.

Flowers – Removing dying flowers from your plant is known as deadheading. The entire flower should be removed back to the stem. This stops the plant from producing seeds and so it will focus its energy on producing more flowers.

Sheaths – Many plants have sheaths, this is a protective layer that surrounds new emerging leaves. Once the leaf has emerged the sheaths often dry up but remain attached to the plant. Common pests love a good place to hide and these sheaths are the perfect place for them to avoid being found! Removing the dried up sheaths from your plants is a great way to avoid any pests and make checking your plants health a lot easier.

If what you are pruning is healthy growth, why not try propagating? Find out all you need to know about propagating here.

Root prune

Prune Roots

You can safely prune up to 1/3 of your plants roots. This encourages new root growth. It’s also great if for example if you would like your plant to remain in the same pot. When repotting simply prune off some of the roots to give it enough room to grow.

When you hard prune roots (Remove 1/3 or more), also prune foliage so the plant still has enough roots to support what’s left on top.


Happy gardening!

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